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"The Storyteller" Book Review

"The Storyteller" Book Cover
The Storyteller by Chris Trotter
"It's just another summer holiday at the caravan park, and thirteen-year-old Jamie is feeling unloved,
unwanted and thoroughly confused. With a recovering alcoholic mother, unresponsive sister Lauren,
and aggressive father, he has little to celebrate.
But at the park's funfair, a hidden secret comes to light which will change his and Lauren's lives forever.
Reeling from this disclosure, Jamie stumbles into a never-explored area of the park. Here he meets a gypsy whose gift in storytelling might give him the insight to support his  sister when she most needs it and help the teenager make sense of his life. Or is that lives?
In this innovative first novel by Chris Trotter, The Storyteller explores the poignancy of friendship and love, and how in the cycle of life, there may be more than one chance to make things right. Using a unique blend of traditional fiction and fantasy, Chris Trotter interweaves two tales to an uplifting conclusion."

4 Stars

My sisters bought this book from the author who was leading a tour in Edinburgh. I found it lying on one of our many bookshelves and decided to give it a go.

I found this book to be one of those that stays with you over weeks and months. There is a lot to offer from it, both from a literary point of view, and in moral terms. Feelings and emotions of the characters are made explicit through the writing right from the start and we feel their pain as the story progresses. While some of the issues that this book explores are challenging, it is a worthwhile story to read if you work with young people. I would also recommend this book to teenagers, too, but I wouldn't read it to my primary aged class as it isn't really suitable.

I was left wondering about the gypsy who tells the story. I couldn't help but wonder if there was much more to this character than meets the eye, perhaps even something supernatural. This would be in stark contrast to the setting of the caravan park which is the most mundane setting possible. I like that the author leads you to make up your own mind about the gypsy. It gives the reader some creativity to explore their own theories.

Occassionally, I found the jumping between the "real-life" and the "story" a little confusing and, when I had just got comfortable with one setting, it switched to the other.

Nevertheless, I would certainly recommend this challenging and thought-provoking book. A worthwhile read!

Find the book here.


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