There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs.
This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a figure schoolchildren used to draw green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth.
Dead Papa Toothwort is awake. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to his English symphony. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, enchanting boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.
Max Porter is a genius.
There is absolutely no way I can think as to how to review or even describe this book. It’s pure emotion. Each word has meaning. I cried at the way simple words were put together to form these sentences that just tore their way into my heart. It’s contemporary, it’s fable, it’s dark, it’s painful, it’s hopeful, it’s true. It’s unlike anything else. It’s simply breathtaking.
“Which do you think is more patient, an idea or a hope?”
Four and a half stars rounded up to five.