“Bad children are punished. Be bad, a child is told, and you’ll be turned into an animal, marked with your crime. The Wild Children are forever young, but that, too, can be a curse. Five children each tell a different story of what they became. One learns that wrong can be right, and her curse may be a blessing. Another is so Wild he must learn the simplest lesson, to love someone else. An eight year old girl must face fear and doubt as she dies of old age. Love and strangeness hit the lives of two brothers in the form of a beautiful flaming bird. Finally, the oldest child learns that what is right can be horribly wrong. Together they tell a sixth story, of a Wild Girl who can’t speak for herself, and doesn’t seem Wild at all.”
This is the description that made me curious, so I downloaded a preview for my Nook and set to reading. I thoroughly enjoyed myself to the end.
What did I enjoy the most about this book? Hrm… the author, Richard Roberts, uses his words well. He knows when to describe and how to keep things within his narrator’s eye. But I think the best part was how he brought everything full circle. The book begins with the sixth Wild Girl, and it ends with her – as perhaps it should have if this is really her story. But I have to admit even though I’d read the description above, I didn’t figure out just who he was talking about until the end. And I didn’t figure out what was happening until the end, despite heaps of hints and foreshadowing. Then when it happened, I actually had a tear in my eye. Of satisfaction – something not every story has the power to give me. And loss – weren’t there more pages? No? Aw, c’mon!!!
This tale is a treat and a feast for those young at heart but jaded enough to understand how the world really works. It comes HIGHLY recommended.