Book: The Changeling (Victor LaValle)

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The Changeling

Victor LaValle

Spiegel & Grau

June 13th, 2017


Apollo Kagwa has had nightmares most of his life about his father coming back for him…but leaving him behind. It’s left him with questions, but it’s also left him with a determination to be a better father than his own was.

He’s a book man; he buys and sells any book that could be worth a fair bit of money. One day in a musty basement he makes the find of his life, in more ways than one. The book plays a part in a journey. That journey starts with heartbreak.

Apollo has a six month old son who he dotes on endlessly. Everything seems to be going great–except when his wife Emma starts acting a little strangely. Depression after birth happens, but Emma tells him things that are distressingly strange–pictures taken of the baby from a distance that shows it’s not her or Apollo taking them show up on her phone along with strange messages. The messages always quickly disappear. Apollo is worried.

Then the unthinkable happens, and Emma flees after committing a horrible act. Apollo is determined to find her, but the journey he ends up on isn’t the one he thinks he’s started.

The Changeling is a beautifully constructed modern fairytale that surprises and delights. It’s at times both frightening and beautiful, and combines both old and new traditions of storytelling and fiction into a story I couldn’t put down. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. I fully expect to see it on more than a few nomination lists next year.

A must buy.


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JL JamiesonBook: The Changeling (Victor LaValle)