Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain - a Novel by Adrianne Harun was released by Penguin Books on February 25, 2014. It's a novel that tends to defy categorization, perhaps best fitting under a general literature heading. Why? It's part mystery, a little bit thriller, some magical realism, with some folklore and mythology thrown into the mix.

Mostly told through the eyes of Leo Kreutzer, though occasionally through one of his friends as well, this story tells what happens when two unrelated strangers come to town independently and interact with the population. Hanna Swann with her snow white features has Jackie falling in love with her and the boys tripping over themselves to follow her almost subliminal suggestions. Kevin Seven, on the other hand, seems to mesmerize almost everyone he comes in contact with appearing to be someone slightly different to each of them. His domain is mostly the hotel, but for some souls, he will leave it for a while.

And in between these bouts of description and action come Uncle Lud's tales. Uncle Lud is dying and has been trying to give his stories to Leo to carry on. But, do his stories help? Or do they stir things up? I like these lines near the beginning of the book that say, "But, Uncle Lud's not here, and he's left me and a few scattered notebooks to set the shards of the story side by side and conjure demons once again. Even as I do I want to call out to all of us. I want to yell: Look sharp!"

The publisher's synopsis starts out with, "In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway."  But in truth while that does play a part in the story and knowing that does heightens the tension, it is only a small part to the story.

The plotting on the book is great. There is a level of tension maintained just because of the family lives these kids have and how their town is. The interactions with Hanna Swann and Kevin Seven up the ante. Any sanity there was in the town seems to go out the window.

Leo and his friends are all sympathetic characters. You hope for the best outcome for them. They are well written, well described.

It's a good book. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It tends to stay with you a while after you finish it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.