The first in a rousing, funny, genre-busting trilogy from bestseller Jaclyn Moriarty!
This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).
Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot’s dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
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. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called “color storms;” a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the “Butterfly Child,” whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses…
— Goodreads.com description
What a strange, nonsensical book A Corner of White is! I was already a fan of Jaclyn Moriarty’s contemporary writing — A Year of Secret Assignments was such a fun book — but this one is a definite departure.
The story is a genre-bender, following both Madeleine’s modern life in Cambridge and Elliot’s fantastical life in the Kingdom of Cello. It’s part fairy tale, part fantasy with bits of contemporary and sci-fi thrown in. Ambitious! Sure, it comes off as confusing in parts, but you have to applaud an author for trying something new.
A Corner of White is for slower readers — the type who appreciate a unique turn of phrase, a fresh point of view and plenty of oddities. And quirkiness! Fans of large, quirky casts of characters will find this to be a clever and charming read.
As someone who values whimsy and all things nonsensical, I can appreciate what Moriarty’s done here. But, overall, it was a bit of a trudge to get through the slow pacing, to be honest. Anyhow, depends on the type of reader you are. In the end, I had mixed feelings about the book but was overall delighted to see Moriarty try something different.
PS: Love this quote on it from Markus Zusak: “Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt.”