A Corner of White by Jaclyn MoriartyMonday, September 24, 2012
A Corner of White (The Colors of Madeleine #1)
by Jaclyn Moriarty
Genre: young adult fantasy
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Aus
Publication date: September 18th 2012
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Source: ARC from publisher
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Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.
Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.
They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter. A mesmerizing story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. The story is alternately told in Madeleine and Elliot's point of view. Jaclyn Moriarty did a good job with switching between the two characters' heads, and it didn't feel like a single person was writing it. The differences between Madeleine and Elliot are endless, but they were also similar in some ways. both of them had their charms and vulnerabilities. They were both lonely and not sure of who they really are.
I have to say that the secondary characters really peaked my interest. They all had their own interesting little back-story and personality. Characters like the princess sisters had this quirky little vibe to them, and they really surprised me in the end. The world-building is also very intricate. It has a fantasy vibe, but is still very much believable. The amount of research and detail placed into every sentence is commendable. Moriarty has always had a way with her worlds and characters, and her latest book is no exception.
The book is an excellent fusion of ace contemporary and light fantasy. Dangerous weather phenomena called "colour storms;" a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the "Butterfly Child," whose appearance could end the droughts; and some unexpected love interests. There were a bunch of different plot lines that seemed like they were going nowhere, but Moriarty weaved them all together perfectly in the end. The story was paced perfectly and it quickened at the right times to make my heart race. The characters never failed to make me laugh and cry along with them.
A Corner of White deals with a lot of missing people; Madeleine's pseudo-missing father, Elliot's dad and schoolteacher, a little girl, and a whole lot of other people in the Kingdom of Cello. The characters find themselves so engrossed in looking for them, that they end up finding themselves in the process.
I am not the biggest fan of fantasy, but I found myself loving A Corner of White nonetheless. The book is quirky, dark, real, and fills you up with hope. The best thing about Jacklyn Moriarty's latest gem is that you never know what to expect when you turn a page.
An interview with Jaclyn Moriarty about A Corner of White