Now brace yourself, your about to read something from me that you may never see again. Ready? This book made me cry.
Normally no matter how sad I hold it together, and normally the books I chose range more on the scary adventure side rather than emotional. Hence why the title and cover of this book sucked my in in the first place. But dear god if this book got any sadder we would have a moral obligation to start feeding it Prozac.
Connor is a well behaved boy experiencing a tragedy that has resulted in his aparent inadvertent summoning of a monster. A monster that has chosen to take the form of the yew tree in the cemetery behind his house. Though we may not have all been through a situation so extremely similar to Connor and his family I believe that we have all had experiences in our lives that will allow anyone to relate to the pain, tragedy, internal torment, desire for punishment, release, help, abandonment, acknowledgement, and closure that poor Connor feels or needs so desperately throughout this book.
At the start of this book I wondered along with Connor if the monster was real or if it was a dream. But not far in it no longer mattered. The monster was, and a deep gratefulness ( in whatever form ) replaced the search for traditional explanation.
"It was a thought, one of a million. It was not an action."
It seems to me that so much of our lives are lived in our own minds. In the deep inner parts of our thoughts. People's behaviors confuse and astound. Imagined slights and misconceived insults or threats. The thoughts controlling the actions of so many. The thoughts of Connor's teachers, classmates, and bully's. The thoughts of his grandmother and father. The thoughts of his mother. Everyone thinking and acting. No one talking or evaluating the validity of their thoughts.
And can we just talk for a second about the art in this book? Seriously why are more books not written like this? Decorating the pages with nightmarish gashes of spilt black ink. Weaving life to the wild nature and cold impersonal industrialized world that made up the setting. Occasional full pages with representations of the moment at hand. It was beautiful and satisfying.
I went into this book expecting a monster at the window at midnight and a boy unafraid, and all the possible horrors that could bring. What I left with instead was a story so truly full of horror, so purely honest and so undeniably moving that it was barely a story at all. It was truth.