Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sorrow’s Knot… I have yet to read Erin Bow’s Plain Kate book, but if that is anywhere close to how good this one is then I’m game. SK offers something different with its people and their mystic magical connection.
There’s simplicity in presentation; a matter of fact feel to how their connection is explored. What they all do is very basic, made integral to who they are and how their world works. Much later, they (and we) discover that there are bigger things to consider.
The culture is different, with women in focus. The whole set up of their community: it’s different, fascinating… but not too different as there are threads of possibility. Their way felt real like it could be, or even could have been. The way things are ordered, they way each has a function and the way each function is passed on… it’s not dumped on the reader, but cleverly doled bit by bit. In fact each detail had me expectant for the next because each detail layered on the first and so on painted something different but not too different. There’s clever world building at work here.
But more than world, it’s the characters that are the biggest draw. The community and the roles each player is cast extending to the more personal connections of mother-daughter, and that of “Okshae” (sp) just gripped me. Each action of one had me pondering the why; each perceived betrayal had me digging deeper; then each discovery of who they were and what they were growing into doing both. Little changes versus things that remained establish that NONE of them are your regular YA read of hero-girl etc. They are more than that:
It’s a girl and her connections plus how those connection propel her forward. But it’s also how she propels others to discover how they do things and why they do things and the consequences of all that. Clever but not just clever… because theirs emotion here, too… emotion stemming from those connections. It’s those connections: old ones and newly formed ones that I loved.
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