eBook - 2008
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The haunting tale of one exceptionally disturbed family unfolds in this gripping page-turner. Locked away from the world behind heavy drapes in a house with no mirrors, Aslaug Hellig grew up with her intelligent and overbearing mother Maren, who had told her that she was the product of immaculate conception. Though extremely knowledgeable about the local flora and other bookish pursuits, Aslaug is veritably clueless in social situations. When Maren dies suddenly, Aslaug's world shatters. Alone and frightened, she goes to stay with her estranged aunt and cousins until their suspicious demise. As the narrative moves between her trial for murder in the present and the past that led up to it, the Helligs' shocking truth is slowly revealed.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375849589
Characteristics: 410 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc


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Aug 20, 2013

Madapple is a fiction, but beyond that it's hard to put it into a genre. Part murder mystery, part psychological thriller, part treatise on religion, part botany lecture, the story centers around Aslaug, whose sanity is called into question. And yet, given her narrative voice and analytical nature, I never questioned Aslaug's sanity myself.

I was expecting something different, and so Madapple was a disappointment to me. It's not poorly written- it's lengthy in descriptions and religious information, and a bit dry in that regard, but it doesn't rely on tropes or deus ex machina to pull the story along.

However, it's slow, and each of the 'twists' I had figured out early on (I don't think I'm exceptionally smart- I think Meldrum gave us too many hints for it to be a true 'twist'). Aslaug is a unique voice, smart but naive in the ways of humans, but not a relatable or captivating one.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, though not terribly stimulating, book. I'd recommend it for fans of florid fiction, those who enjoy the study of ancient religions, and fans of psychological mysteries and religious mysteries.

Sep 27, 2011

This is rated juvenile, but an adult would have trouble reading it. An interesting plot, but the book runs too long, and bounces back and forth from the interesting Danish and botany 5 years ago, to a court case in the current time.

Dec 06, 2010

Grade 9 Up
Supposed to be okay for boys too


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