Saturday, January 24, 2009

"The Folk Keeper" by Franny Billingsley

Wow, I haven't posted on this blog in almost a year and a half! Mostly that's because I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading, or thinking about what I read. That's very, very sad. But lately that's started to change. I read the whole Twilight series over the Christmas/New Years holidays, in a weird obsessive compulsive act that's very hard for me to explain. I didn't like the books, but still found myself having to read them. Really, the only way you'll understand it is if you get inside my head, which (thank the Lord) isn't going to happen.

Today I am filled with the desire to completely immerse and lose myself in reading, which really, really hasn't happened in a long time. The best way I can describe the feeling is that I'm homesick for a good book. So I re-read a book that I haven't looked at for years: The Folk Keeper.

From the Cover: She doesn't really know who she is or what she wants ... Corinna is a Folk Keeper. Her job is to keep the mysterious Folk who live beneath the ground at bay. But Corinna has a secret that even she doesn't fully comprehend, until she agrees to serve as Folk Keeper at Marblehaugh Park, a wealthy family's seaside manor. There her hidden powers burst into full force, and Corinna's life changes forever....

Despite the overuse of ellipses on the back cover, this book is well worth the read. It's a weird little book that can be hard to get through, but I love anyway. Corinna has a direct voice that is a little difficult to immerse yourself in at first, but trust me, she gets better. Her descriptions of the sea are beautiful, and her developing self-assurance and developing relationships are touching. The Folk are sufficiently chilling, and the evil villain of the story has some humanity in him, but the climax loses no tension or excitement for it.

The book is a very quick read (I read the whole thing in only a few hours) and is told as Corinna writes down her thoughts in her Folk Keeper's Record. She describes not only the Folk and all their "mischief," but she also describes herself: warts, embarrassments, and all. She writes: "But I must tell the truth here ... If I lied in this Folk Record, I wouldn't be able to trust it ..." A powerful statement about being honest with one's self, because Corinna is really writing to herself and for herself.

All in all, a great little book, and a great way to get back into reading for the pure love of reading.