the infant troll is capriciously stolen from his home by the
Red Wind and sent to live in 1940s Chicago. He is a changeling,
and replaces one Thomas Rood who gets sent to Fairyland in
his place. But Hawthorn vaguely remembers that things should
not be so prosaic and causes trouble. Seen as a problem child
by his exasperated parents and teachers he is keen to get
away, but how? Is he the only changeling in the city or might
there be others?
This is the fourth book in the extraordinary and unique series
of books by this talented author. We get a glimpse of what
September has been up to, but mostly this is Hawthorn's tale.
As well as a delicious word hoard of fantastic delights piled
one on top of the other this is also a story about not belonging,
and of not seeing the world in quite the way as other people
do (or seem to). Hawthorn sees everything as a fantasy, including
school and manages to get along by having a useful talent.
He is not normal, and wants to be while realizing that if
he was it would probably be boring. It is easy to draw parallels
between this and one's own earlier experiences with the world
and at times looking askance at it in this way is also funny.
But it is the imagery and poetry of the language that stays
with the reader, the way she uses words and ideas. This is
billed as a book for younger readers, but much of it can only
be appreciated by the right kind of adult. One to savor for
the unique treat that it is.