Book: The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis
Published: Back Bay Books, 2007
Buy it: Amazon
First off, I really had no idea what this book was about going in. I don't remember where I heard about it or really how I came across it. It's one of those books that seems to magically appear on your bookshelf. I decided to read it because I was looking for something rather short that I could read in just a few days. When I pulled it off my shelf, I realized there was no description of the contents of the story anywhere on the back of the book or the inside cover. I decided that instead of looking it up online, it would be more fun to jump right in without any back story.
I think that The Thin Place has a lot of potential to be a really great book, but the author jumped around so much for a story that was only 275 pages. I found myself having a hard time following the many different story lines. I think part of this is my own fault- I had too many distractions to focus on a book that delved so deep into spirituality and magic. I wanted to know more about Mees and her "abilities", but Davis chose to jump around on who was narrating. We got to see what life was like for the animals and plants of Varennes, which I like the idea of in theory, but I just wasn't feeling it in this case. I often found myself lost, having to go back to read certain chapters to figure out whose point of view we were reading. In the end, I felt like things were rushed to wrap up too quickly. Perhaps if it was a longer book with more of a chance to suss out details mentioned but never covered, I would have been more satisfied.
With all that said, I think readers who enjoy Gabriel Garcia Marquez would enjoy this. I have tried to get into his writing but I just find it's not my style.
Now if you'd like to actually know what it's about before reading-
Synopsis from Publishers Weekly: When three schoolgirls come upon a seemingly dead neighbor, Mr. Banner, prostrate on the beach, he is revived by the uncanny spiritual powers of one of the girls, Mees Kipp, a strange fatherless waif who is also able to communicate with dogs. The narrative's point-of-view jumps among various characters (including a dog) as Davis explores the teeming, deceitful, hidden lives of the small church-going community and teases out its history via the journal of a late 19th-century schoolmarm who harbors a secret passion. (She perished with her pupils in what has become known as the Sunday School Outing Disaster; the 1870s tragedy still haunts the town.) Meanwhile, in the Crockett Home for the Aged, sharp-witted Helen Zeebrugge, at 92, simmers at the stupidity and condescension of her caretakers; her only son, Piet, in his vigorous 60s, is looking for wife number five and is tired of dating the athletic French teacher at the high school. With her eye on Piet, 50-ish divorcée Billie Carpenter, new to town and unattached, possesses the clarity to grasp the larger supernatural realignment that's taking place in Varennes, as evil (or senseless mortality) is replaced by a life-affirming force: love.
My rating: I gave The Thin Place 2 stars. I think this is a book that I might enjoy better after a re-read. There were a lot of details I'm certain I missed the first time around.