Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #52 The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

During the great book search of last month, when I had to make absolutely sure that the mail thief had struck again and I hadn’t just misplaced The Golem’s Eye, I found out I actually had bought two copies on this book.  What can I say, it’s the cat silhouette.  And an intriguing back cover description.

Pia becomes a social pariah at her school in a small German town when her grandmother combusted while lighting the Advent wreath.  Yes, the book starts with flambeed grandma.  Pia is left with only Stink Stefan, the class loner, for a friend.  She and Stefan begin to visit Herr Schiller, a friend of Pia’s dead grammy.  He tells them vivid fairy tales of the town during their afternoon visits.  Soon it appears the fairy tales are becoming real when a girl from the town goes missing.  Other girls begin to vanish.  Pia and Stefan sleuth through the town’s history in an effort to stop the evilness.  Their research leads them to find another tragedy hidden in the town’s past, which has connections to the present vanishings.

Back when I reviewed My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, I wrote a bit about fairy tales in our modern world.  With all of our science and technology, we, as a civilization, can still be driven by myths and superstition.  When the girls of the town go missing, everyone is quick to point fingers are the crazy old guy, because crazy old guy is the modern day witch.  While it’s a fact that most molested children will be assaulted by a family member, society Big-Bad-Wolf-erizes pedophiles.  Because The Other is the real threat; things that aren’t us will harm us.  While these lessons affirms a community, bringing we and we closer together, in the long run xenophobia and blithely ignoring issues in your own community to focus on attacking those that are different, has long term consequences.

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5 thoughts on “Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #52 The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

  1. Congratulations on your Cannonball! This great review was a superb way to wrap up your challenge and very enjoyable to read!

  2. Congrats on your Cannonball. Wooo!

  3. quorren on said:

    Thanks! I don’t know if I want to continue reviewing the rest of the books I read this year or not. The reviews (well, “reviews”, according to someone on Pajiba today, I don’t write REAL reviews, so I should probably call them my fauxviews) have been such a struggle for me because I haven’t written about my opinion/interpretation for years. All of my writing for the past six years or so have been research oriented or analytic. Sometimes I start to write by asking myself how I felt about the book and all I come up with is, “Well, it felt like I was holding a book, of the mass market paperback side. It smells a bit dusty. I enjoyed reading it and not doing other things.”

  4. “Pia becomes a social pariah at her school in a small German town when her grandmother combusted while lighting the Advent wreath. Yes, the book starts with flambeed grandma.”

    Yep. This has just been added to my To Be Read list.

    Congrats and please keep reviewing! Those two sentences convinced me to read this book!

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