Monday, October 15, 2018
Beloved children's author, Kate DiCamillo, first introduced readers to Louisiana Elefante in the pages of Raymie Nightengale. Louisiana's Way Home focuses on the relationship between Lousiana and her grandmother. Louisiana's granny has told her all her life that she was under a curse of sundering and she never had a reason to doubt what her granny said.
I am one who enjoys reading books about books. Books with lists of recommended books, books about forgotten classics, with suggestions of rich and meaty literature. And in my twenty years of reading books, blogs, and internet articles about books, I had never once come across the book Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner. So I was quite shocked when I selected this from NetGalley and discovered it had been written in 1898. Where have I been?!?
I looked at reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and noticed a recurring theme of adults who had read and loved this story as a child. Many compared it to Treasure Island. Having read Treasure Island, I have to say that Moonfleet is a slightly less rugged tale of smuggling and high adventure--so a great introduction to the adventure genre for younger audiences. It's less violent and not quite as lengthy. The prose, however, is just as marvelous. Reading a chapter of Moonfleet, one feels as though they have just savored a meal at a fine restaurant. For this reason, I highly recommend this as a family read aloud. The adventure will hold a child's attention and the auditory sampling of a well-written book will be worth the investment in time.
Falkner weaves a masterful tale of an orphan boy, raised by an aunt who held an abundance of rules and a meagre supply of adventure. His boyhood is filled with tales of ghostly apparitions, and smugglers who have buried treasure. Readers will encounter underground crypts, crusty characters (with a surprisingly gentle side), prisoners at sea, a romantic interest, and lessons learned through crime and punishment. All in all, it was a thoroughly delightful read and one well worth reprinting for a new generation to enjoy!
Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Moonfleet from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.