Thursday, November 21, 2013
A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff
The book is itself a tangle of knots, and hard to summarize. It's about connections. It's about near-misses, and in that way reminds me of Lynne Rae Perkins's Criss-Cross. It's about a lot of disparate people and puzzle pieces coming together in the end, and in that way it reminds me of The Westing Game. I also think of it a bit as "The Penderwicks meets Savvy."
I saw a fair number of the plot twists coming; ditto which characters would turn out to be related and how. There are a lot of POV shifts, and at one point near the middle of the book I felt like I'd had one too many. But I cared about Cady, Zane, Marigold, and others, and wanted to find out how a dinosaur bone, a lost peanut butter recipe, a hot air balloon, an author who'd lost all verbal ability, a man in a gray suit with knots in his pockets, a place called The Lost Luggage Emporium, and more, would all come together. This novel, which is up for the National Book Award, is a fascinating puzzle that shows how a lot of different people and separate stories can converge at one moment in time.