This summer, I’ve wended my way through a long series of completely forgettable books–aside from Harry Potter, of course– and so haven’t felt compelled to post reviews of anything. But my luck has turned! A few weeks ago, Steve and I went downtown and hit Elliott Bay. Lo and behold, I hit the kiddie lit mother lode. Actually, I only bought two (the rest are on hold at the library), and one of them was a complete dud (Adam Gopnik’s “The King in the Window”). But Jeanette Winterson’s “Tanglewreck”–well!
The time tornadoes are raging when Abel Darwater pulls up to the old house Tanglewreck, where Silver lives with her horrible guardian aunt. He’s looking for the Timekeeper, a mysterious clock that will allow him to control time forever. He whisks Silver and her aunt off to London, still trying to wheedle information out of Silver–who escapes into the underground world of the Throwbacks. Along with her Throwback friend Gabriel, Silver goes on a quest to find the Timekeeper, where she runs into clever plays on words, imaginative representations of particle physics, a commentary on commercialization, and a whole host of other adventures that are surprisingly sophisticated yet still palatable to a younger audience
I don’t really know how to describe Tanglewreck, except to say that it’s a little “His Dark Materials,” a touch “A Wrinkle in Time,” and a smidge “The Phantom Tollbooth.” But we all know that comparisons are odious, and this is wholly its own imaginative work. Highly recommend.