The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story

The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story

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Overview

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom
 is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594730668
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 01/17/2012
Pages: 82
Sales rank: 517,014
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Theodora Goss won the World Fantasy Award in 2008 for her short story “Singing of Mount Abora.” Her publications include the 2006 short-story collection In the Forest of Forgetting; Interfictions, a 2008 short-story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; and Voices from Fairyland, a 2008 poetry anthology featuring critical essays and a selection of her own poems. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Locus, and Mythopoeic awards and has appeared on the Tiptree Award Honor List. Her work has repeatedly been showcased in “Year’s Best” anthologies. She lives in Boston, where she teaches literature and writing at Boston University.

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The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss is a unique reading experience. First I need to talk about the book design. The book is spineless. You read that right. The book is put together in a way that makes it able for you to read Brendan's story and Evelyn's story separately. After you finish with either character's story you can flip the book over and begin the other character's story. I like the way this book is designed. It brings something extra to the story. This is the first time that I've read any book in such a way. As I've mentioned before this is two books in one. One from each characters point of view. The main characters are Brendan and Evelyn. Evelyn has a troubled past and is seeking to make her own way in life. Brendan is looking to start his life away from his father. Evelyn meets Brendan when she walks into his father's book store. They are drawn together as if they were magnets. However things happen that tear them apart but fate keeps throwing them back together. I like the duel point of view for each book. Even though they are two sides of the same story I like that the author put details in each story that was not in the other character's story. So even though you are reading the same story, it's not all the same. I also like that this story contained legends and mythology. I'm a huge fan of mythology and legends and I think it added a lot to this story. Overall I did like this book but it didn't wow me. The book design is really interesting and it did add to the story. The book is short so it doesn't go into a lot of detail. I think that it would have been better if this book were a little longer. It's more on the lines of a novella than a full length novel. However this is a sweet story of star crossed lovers. This is an adult book but I think it would be suitable for younger audiences as well. It's a fairly clean read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Goss has a wonderful idea here. I loved the characters and the dialogue, but something was lacking - perhaps a bit more story? Or perhaps she is writing a sequel? In any event, I do recommend this book to those who like love stories that are not at all conventional. This one certainly is not.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
When first presented with the trailer for this book I was intrigued. I thought the format was new and different and highly appropriate for the two sided love story that would be told. One I received the book for review the format quickly lost its charm. The book was difficult to hold while reading and this is because there is no binding to it due to the accordion fold design. As I turned pages, I continually felt as if I would be ripping pages and struggle with the hard covers to keep them lined up while holding the book to read. Reading this sitting up or in bed proved more annoying than anything. I finished the first story that way, and then the following day I read the other half of the story while sitting at a table with the book flat on the table. This was easier on the book, but not comfortable for me (my neck bearing all of the pain). The story was lovely and I was interested on the other point of view while I was reading the first one. I read Evelyn’s story first and the moved over to Brendan’s. The problem I found with this two separate stories was that once I got to Brendan’s side I found that it was too easy to skim because I had just read most of the story on Evelyn’s side. All the things that were spoken are featured on both sides and I felt as if I were wasting time re-reading the same diaglogue again. There was very little extra to Brendan’s story that wasn’t featured in Evelyn’s. Just some thoughts of his here and there and what happened in his life when Evelyn wasn’t around. While the idea is charming and lovely, it just didn’t pan out the way I hoped. If I were to rate the format of the book separately from the story, I would give the format a 2/5 and the story a 4/5. The format was beautiful, loved the cover, the idea, and the illustrations, but it was just too cumbersome and I don’t want to reread it because of it. So a 3/5 it is. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This+is+more+of+a+novella+than+a+novel.+I+really+enjoyed+this+but+it+was+too+short.+I+definitely+think+it+could+have+been+a+full+length+novel.+The+Thorn+and+the+Blossom+was+a+quick+read%2C+a+bit+fast+paced+for+me%2C+jumping+from+one+detail+or+scene+to+the+next+but+I+loved+it.+It+didn%27t+have+the+ending+I+wanted+but+it+was+a+hopeful+one.+
llyramoon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! Very quick read, I finished it in 2 nights :) I started with Evelyn's story first and I would suggest starting with that side first after reading both sides. Not wanting to spoil this story but if you like star crossed lover stories you will enjoy this. Very well written and very enjoyable read (not to mention the unique design is cool!).Received book via Early Review Giveaway
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An imaginatively and well-produced book, bound such that the reader can choose which of two viewpoints to read first (and, when finished with that side of the story, the other is waiting to be read). A traditional love story, in very much an untraditional package.
EllenLEkstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful reading experience for me. I read it in one day and I simply loved it. There was enough of mystery and romance to keep me interested and my only complaint was that the story ended. The parallel stories kept you guessing, hoping, and the ending was not what I expected but nevertheless very satisfying. A short review for one of the shortest novels I've read in a long time - but certainly the best read of 2012 for me. This book is recommended. Read it.
dgmlrhodes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is truely unique from any book I've read before. It is set up in an accordian style binding where you can first read the story of Evelyn and turn it over to read the story of Brendan. The tale tells the story of two lovers, displaying each perspective. You have to read both sides to get the complete picture. I did at first find the binding to be difficult to deal with, but the book is short and an easy read. The story is an interesting literary read with some uniqueness to the story. Reader received a complimentary copy from Good Reads First Reads.
detailmuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thorn and the Blossom is a contemporary love story. It opens as an American student at Oxford, on holiday in medieval-rich Cornwall, strolls into a bookshop and meets the son of the owner. Or, seen from the opposite perspective: a young man, enjoying a pint in a pub, sees a woman enter his father¿s bookshop and ducks back into the shop to meet her.I mention ¿opposite perspective¿ because it¿s part of the originality of this novella -- actually two short stories, one told in the man¿s perspective and one in the woman¿s; begin with whichever and then read the other. More originality comes from each story being printed on one side of a long length of paper that is folded, accordion style, and bound into a hardcover and stored in a slipcase. A delightful concept and physical presentation.The story itself is okay -- little story overall, then overly parallel and repetitious between the two narratives. But when considered in light of the medieval stories of Gawan, Elowen and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight that Goss summarizes, there is an homage and a somewhat satisfying echo in the contemporary story.(Review based on a copy of the book provided by the publisher.)
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Usually when I am reading a story, the format doesn't matter to me - ebook, paperback, hardcover, PDF, or computer file are all just vehicles for the story and quickly fade into the background. But with this book it mattered. Initially, I didn't know how to hold this book. It kept falling into its accordion folds and ending up in my lap. I almost felt like it needed one of those reading stands that you see in medieval book rooms along with the white, acid-free gloves you wear to not damage the pages. The medieval feel supported the medieval story of lovers separated for a thousand years by a curse. The woodcut illustrations that began and ended each story also helped create a medieval feel.The stories though contemporary had an almost magical, lyrical feel which isn't surprising because the author is herself a poet. Each story is in three parts. In the first part Brendan and Evelyn meet in the small town of Clews in Cornwall. Brendan is back home from Oxford for the summer working in his father's bookstore. Evelyn is visiting the area where her ancestors came from as she finishes up her semester abroad at Oxford before returning to the United States. These two are both lonely and feel out of place in their surroundings. Brendan doesn't seem to fit in with the local boys he grew up with because of his interest in literature and scholarship and their interests in the sea and fishing. Evelyn has been hiding a secret since her childhood and she is quietly defying her family's expectation that the become a lawyer in favor of her own desire to be a scholar and poet. The first part ends after only a week when Evelyn flees the area after just one kiss from Brendan triggers a hallucination of him turning into a man made of branches and leaves.They reconnect years later at a small college in Virginia. Brendan is a tenured professor of medieval literature who has written a new translation of the legend of Gowan and Elowan and Evelyn interviews for an associate professor position. She had written a poem based on the legend called Green Thoughts. The romance rekindles but Brendan doesn't mention that he had married and that his wife was injured in a riding accident and is now in a coma in a long-term care facility. Evelyn thinks that she has finally outgrown the mental problems that plagued her childhood and sent her fleeing from Brendan in Clews. When Evelyn finds out about Brendan's wife she has another episode of the hallucinations that she thought were finished. She takes too much of the medication she hasn't used for years. By the time she recovers, Brendan's wife has died and he has left the college with no forwarding address.The final section comes full circle back to Clews. Brendan has returned to his father's house to re-evaluate his life. He is out fishing with his boyhood friends and is working on a children's book about the story of the Green Knight. Evelyn finds a new psychiatrist who helps her to realize that her hallucinations aren't destructive and that she can live around them. She decides that it is time again to write some poetry based on the legend of Gowan and Elowen. This would be a series of ten poems about the lives Elowen lived some with Gowan and some without as the two doomed lovers waited until the 1000 year curse was through.I loved the way the story of the modern lovers echoed the story of the medieval ones. I loved the lyrical language of this story. I thought the concept of the book design was intriguing and perfectly suited to the story that Ms. Goss was telling. I recommend this book highly both for its art and for the wonderful language.
BookRatMisty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of Quirk Books. They're always looking for ways to challenge the status quo a bit, try something new, and I appreciate that.  (And with hits like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to their name, they aren't doing a bad job of it, either.)  So I'm always curious to see what they have planned next.  But The Thorn and the Blossom surprised even me.  I mean, I knew of accordion bindings in a sort of abstract way, as something that's just not done.  And yet, here they are, doing it.And I have to say, I liked it.I'm sure some will find the accordion binding gimmicky, and hey, maybe it is, but the fact is, it's also perfectly suited to the story that's being told.  Evelyn and Brendan's stories just ...wouldn't have been the same if they were just told in parts, rather than back to back.  I can't explain why, but it would have lessened it somehow.Their stories fit together and complemented each other very nicely, and the unique format of the book helped facilitate that.  I was worried that it was going to be a little hard to read, but aside from a bit of flopping about when I first began reading, the book actually wasn't that hard to manage.  Also - it's a flipping accordion. I would have put up with a bit of frustration just to be able to play with the book like a magic deck of cards...But onto the story itself.  You can start at either side, and I started with Evelyn. I have no idea how or if this colored my reading of the story, but I have to say I'm glad I started with Evelyn.  It felt right, starting with her, and plunged me into the magical feel of the book a bit more thoroughly than I think it would have if I'd started with Brendan.  Regardless of where you start, though, the story is very sweet and charming.  It's modern, but it reads a bit like a fairy tale, borrowing from folklore and adding in some magical realist bits that kept me completely engaged.  But light as it was, Evelyn and Brendan are adults and so are there stories - there were touches of darkness, little bits of doubt, but done so very lightly and subtly. It worked to make the fairy tale aspect seem heightened, but also more real.  It was that little bit of counterpoint to an otherwise almost airy story that helped ground it and make it have a little more impact.It's an incredibly quick read, being only about 80 pages - a slim little novella easily read in 1 sitting.  I know some people don't like to read anything under novel length; they feel like they won't get enough meat to the story, that there's not enough depth or development in such a short span.  And yes, I suppose there isn't a ton of development going on in this book; there are things glossed over, large swaths of time skipped.  But it didn't feel like any negligence on Goss' part.  It just wasn't necessary.  As I said, it's very much like a fairy tale, like a story people would tell aloud, and those are never very lengthy.  They tend instead to be brief, succinct, relying on a few symbols and common tropes, and the reader's (or listener's) familiarity with them to give the story any import.In this case, there can be no real conclusion to the story, other than the ones drawn by readers. I mean, with a story that is going to be retold as soon as you finish it (since you are merely flipping the book over and starting again), you can't know for sure how it ends, or it would give away the other half and render it pointless.  But it's the type of ending where all pieces are there, and it's up to the reader to determine how everything will go from there - whether the magic contained in this slim  book is worldly or otherworldly - and whether it matters at all, so long as there is love.So, gimmicky or not, Goss carries it off well, and I think this w
DoskoiPanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little love story told from two perspectives, The Thorn and the Blossom is the story of Brendan Thorn and Evelyn Morgan, told against the background of modern day and a woven with the theme of an Arthurian legend. Interesting binding - an accordian style with hardback boards and accordianed paper held in a slipcover; no spine to bind it. This takes some getting used to in reading it, but it isn't too difficult. I liked/appreciated the author's use of the local legends, especially that it was singled out as being a local legend, rather than forcibily incorporating it into the larger legends. A grand Arthurian theme would have drowned this little love story. The scenes where they meet are particularly well done, from both perspectives, and the legend and semi-fantasy scenes are also excellent in their depiction; in some ways they feel almost more real from their detail/vividness than the more mundane aspects of daily life.As above, there are several good points about the story, but there are some things that just didn't win me over. I was far more interested in Evelyn's "episodes" than in her actual life, or, for the most part the story as they are so much more vivid than the rest of the tale. The story feels incomplete, though that is intentional to a certain extent, I ended up feeling as though both characters just go through the motions until they meet, as if their normal everyday lives were somehow not important. That made me less interested in them both generally, so that I cared less about their love story. Occasionally the story has to work too hard to connect to the legend, so that it feels forced in places. As others have stated, you have to get used to handling the binding- the accordion style is neat, but feels a little fragile, though the paper quality is much higher than that of the usual best seller hardback, it is still paper. The Only Revolutions style of binding* would probably be a better choice in terms of longevity. Another thing, the binding is mentioned in every review, mine included, to the point where I feel that it overshadows the story itself. I'm not sure what to make of this, but feel like it needs to be mentioned.3.5 starsReview copy supplied by the publisher as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.*regular binding, but you have to flip the book for the alternate point of view.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whatever else there is to say about this book, it's a lovely concept, and beautifully executed. It is called a "Two-Sided Love Story", and this is literal: we are able to read the story from the point of view of each of the lovers. Rather than being bound like an ordinary book, the pages are strung together in accordion folds, sandwiched between two very pretty covers, and encased in a gorgeous slipcover. When one story is finished, the book is turned around, and the end of one leads into the beginning of the other. It's a charming idea, and quite unique. Unfortunately, one reason for its uniqueness might be its awkwardness. It's a story more than a book ¿ each side being only about 40 square-ish pages; anything longer would have been almost impossible to read without spreading the book out in one long scroll and reading it that way. The back side of whichever story is being read has to be held together in order to allow the reading to progress normally. It might have been helpful if there had been some sort of strap incorporated into the design which would take the place of and do the job of a spine. Also unfortunately, the slight little tale told in this unusual book did not, for me, live up to the charming format. There are almost-connections and near-mysticism, and fits and starts of love affairs ¿ in short, the story was as awkward in a way as the format, when it had promised as much. In the end I was disappointed and unsatisfied by both the story and the characters. I simply didn't like the main characters, and to me the magickal elements fitted poorly with the mundane, both in the story and in the characters' lives. The idea of the two overlapping stories was supposed, as I read, to be that one character's tale would alter the focus on the other's. What I found, rather, was that one simply contradicted the other. Between an attention-getting format and a truly lovely design, this could have been spectacular, a gem of a book to be treasured. Instead, it's a story memorable, I'm afraid, only for the format and design.
dreamstuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well this was a nifty little book. Normally I'm none too impressed by books that rely on gimmicks, but this book is a treasure. Instead of being a gimmick, Goss literally gives us two sides to the same love story. The book is beautifully presented in a slip case and is created accordion style so that you can read Evelyn's story from cover to cover and then flip the book and read Brendan's story from cover to cover. And what a beautiful story it is.I chose to read Evelyn's story first, though you can pick who's story you wish to read first. It doesn't matter. So I'll give you the tale from Evelyn's point of view. Evelyn is an American who recently graduated from Oxford University and has gone to spend some time in a small village where she meets Brendan at an antiquarian bookstore. The two learn of a mutual love of the story of The Tale of the Green Knight and go off exploring where strange things begin to happen. Strange things that send Evelyn running and screaming and heading back for the states. But years later, they are to meet again, back in the United States and have a second chance at rekindling that old romance. Yet those same strange occurrences seem to continue to haunt them.This is a small book, a short story really, but it's length is really perfect for the tale that it tells. It leaves the reader to imagine what happens after the story ends. It leaves plenty of room for reader interpretation throughout the story as well. Not many answers are given, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. I think this is a great little read for a cozy, rainy day and certainly a little book to cherish.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.The first thing I must discuss about this book is the physical formatting. This tale of star-crossed lovers is done with unique accordion-style pages, with Brendan's story on one side and Evelyn's on the other. The construction is really quite beautiful. This means that the book has no spine. If I didn't care about the condition of the book, I could probably stretch it out over four or five feet. The pages are of a sturdier material than most book pages, but I still bent a few by accident. I have small hands, and the book just fit in my grasp. If it had been any larger, I would have had a hard time holding it together to read. I am glad that it came with a hard slipcover for shelf use.The tale is basically the same, told from different perspectives: as Evelyn is visiting in Cornwall, she comes across Brendan, a bookkeeper's son. The two immediately hit it off and spend a glorious week together. Brendan tells her the tale of Sir Gawan, and the truth of the matter (i.e. that they are indeed the cursed lovers Gawan and Elowen) is clear to the reader but not to them. The writing is well done and the atmosphere is beautiful. I read Evelyn's tale first and was frustrated a but by the ending. However, when paired with Brendan's version, it works better. The stories are also very short (a good thing, considering the format of the book). I also enjoyed the illustrations, as they added to the classic feel of the piece.But is it worth recommending or buying? As solid as the writing is, I was left wanting. There were no major surprises between the viewpoints, and I suppose I expected a greater twist. Still, as a matter of book design it's quite impressive.
keristars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thorn and the Blossom uses an accordion binding so that there is no "spine" to the book. The front cover is the back cover and when you get to the end of one side, you can flip the page and be right back at the beginning of the next part (where the last page is actually part of the cover). There's no real reason that the book requires an accordion binding - it could have been done in many other ways, as used with dual-language books or two-in-one bookclub affairs where you turn the book upside down and back to front for the second story - but Quirk Books's choice gives the whole thing a special air of something I can't quite put my finger on, but which works very well with the story inside.The story itself is brief, totaling just about 80 pages altogether, but it doesn't really feel short. It is exactly as long as it needs to be to tell of the bittersweet romance between Brendan and Evelyn. Both characters are medieval scholars and interested in the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight and the Cornish variation that Brendan grew up knowing. This poem plays a large part in the story, which suggests that maybe it isn't an invention but perhaps playing out through the modern lovers. Both of them do have visions which could be straight out of the poem, after all.I loved that haunting element, the wondering whether these visions and the poem's influence are real. Either way, the curse within it does seem to echo into Evelyn and Brendan's reality, keeping them apart even when they continue to drift back together. There is no conclusive ending or happy ever after, but with the shadow of the curse and Gawan poem, it is perhaps all the better that way.I may have included some plot spoilers in my comments about the book, in which case I apologise if I've ruined anything! I daresay that knowing these plot bits won't destroy the enjoyment of reading the story, though. I'd known more than a few details and found that it hardly mattered, as no spoilers could mess with the deft way that Goss wove the tale or destroy the shimmery magic feeling of the reading.The Thorn and the Blossom is a beautiful book and well-done in every way. Even the woodcut-style illustrations on either side of the hard cover pages add to the delight in the book, though "delightful" might not be the best word for something so bittersweet.
mt256 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss is a unique reading experience. First I need to talk about the book design. The book is spineless. You read that right. The book is put together in a way that makes it able for you to read Brendan's story and Evelyn's story separately. After you finish with either character's story you can flip the book over and begin the other character's story. I like the way this book is designed. It brings something extra to the story. This is the first time that I've read any book in such a way.As I've mentioned before this is two books in one. One from each characters point of view. The main characters are Brendan and Evelyn. Evelyn has a troubled past and is seeking to make her own way in life. Brendan is looking to start his life away from his father. Evelyn meets Brendan when she walks into his father's book store. They are drawn together as if they were magnets. However things happen that tear them apart but fate keeps throwing them back together.I like the duel point of view for each book. Even though they are two sides of the same story I like that the author put details in each story that was not in the other character's story. So even though you are reading the same story, it's not all the same. I also like that this story contained legends and mythology. I'm a huge fan of mythology and legends and I think it added a lot to this story.Overall I did like this book but it didn't wow me. The book design is really interesting and it did add to the story. The book is short so it doesn't go into a lot of detail. I think that it would have been better if this book were a little longer. It's more on the lines of a novella than a full length novel. However this is a sweet story of star crossed lovers. This is an adult book but I think it would be suitable for younger audiences as well. It's a fairly clean read.
mangochris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the binding is lovely, if a bit gimmicky, the story itself, while fairly enjoyable, is pretty thin. It felt as if the author tried to put a novel's worth of story into a short story format and so left out a lot of details and development, or else was attempting to write a full novel and then didn't bother to flesh it out after getting the basic plot down. I do want to check out her actual short stories though.
tapestry100 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Thorn and the Blossom is the story of Brendan and Evelyn, how they met, parted, met again and parted again. Doesn't sound like anything special, right? Well, you'd be wrong. The first thing that you will obviously notice with The Thorn and the Blossom is its unique design. It is printed in a "Unique Accordion-Fold Binding" (that's exactly how it reads on the cover). It book is slip-cased, and you can choose to read either Evelyn's or Brendan's story first, and when you finish with one story, you flip the book over and read the exact same story, only from the other person's point of view. The accordion printing gives it the illusion that the story is printed on one continuous sheet of paper, folded up. As for the story, it's your typical story of boy meets girl, boy kisses girl, girl runs off screaming into the woods, boy meets girl again 10 year later, girl again runs away screaming. What's all the running away and screaming about? Well, that part's the mystery of this little gem of a book. Normally, I wouldn't really be impressed at all with this story, as there's really nothing challenging about it in the slightest, but the book and the story itself are presented so cleverly, I totally overlooked that fact. Give it a try. It's cute, a little on the brain candy side, but you'll find yourself flipping the book back and forth, playing with the accordion layout.
Nightwing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A delightful book, from a delightful writer, and in a delightful format. The story is as old as love, set in modern times with references to the age of Camelot, it follows the courtship of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. What makes the story fascinating is that in order to read the whole thing, one must read in a circle. The book has been assembled in such a way, a story per side, so that one story leads right into the other, no matter which one you start with.It was difficult managing the eccentricities of a book with no spine, but it did serve to create a sense of empathy with the travails being faced by the characters.
mossagate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I practically gasped when I received this from Early Reviewers - it comes with a lovely sleeve and the book itself is just beautiful (and unique!). I'm glad I read the female point of view first. After reading the male side I thought I made the right decision! It was a little short - I would have liked to have more of an ending or maybe just a different ending... But I did enjoy this rather well.
kmaziarz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A lovely, though relatively simple, story of star-crossed lovers and hints of magic. The accordion binding--one person's version of the story on each side--is a nice conceit and a nice gimmick, but a bit awkward in execution, making it hard to hold the book and read without it all falling apart. The story itself, as I've said, is sweet and lovely, but it is very short, more a novella or short story, and there is a consequent lack of detail and exposition. I would have liked more revelations regarding Evelyn's strange visions, more about Brendan's first wife. I would have liked to see this as a more fleshed-out full-length novel; as it is, it felt somewhat unfinished.
RivkaBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review originally published on my blog awordsworth.blogspot.comBook provided by publisher for review.This is a book unlike any I've read before: it's literally a two-sided story. Pick it up, think it's like any normal book. Then you realize: it's accordion-folded. Read through one perspective, then turn the book over, and start reading again - from the other perspective. If it sounds a little odd, don't worry: once you have it in your hand, it makes a lot more sense. And you will probably be a little in awe, if you are anything like me.So much for the book format, but what about the story? Well it's pretty much as amazing as the format. Have you ever read a book, told from one character's perspective, and wondered what the other was thinking? Especially when it's a love story? Theodora has given us a chance to see the same story play out from two wholly different points of view: Evelyn's and Brendan's. I read Evelyn's story first, and found myself emotionally invested fairy quickly - I devoured her story. When it ended, I almost got really sad: it was over! And then I remembered I still needed to flip the book and read Brendan's side of things. Happiness! And wow - what an experience.I loved seeing the way Brendan reacted to the scenes and situations that I'd read about already with Evelyn. I also really loved finding out the 'background info' - what had been going on during the gaps in Evelyn's knowledge. And the ending? Oh. My. Word. Of course, then I found myself wondering: What if I had read Brendan's story first instead of Evelyn's? How would the experience have been different - how would my reactions have changed? Since I can't go back and reread it all fresh, I'm going to have to wait and see if someone else reads it that way - and then we'll talk. Deal?
eidolons on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The format of this book is unique and enough to draw you in. I used to make books, so this added a special dimension of reading for me. That said, accordian bindings do not make for easy one-handed reading.I enjoyed this book. I read Brendan's story first. I was under the impression that this would be a love story in the most accepted sense. But it's more of a tragic love story with the potential of happiness. Brendan's story seems so dark and hopeless to me. Evelyn's was a bit brighter. I wish the "second sight" bit hadn't been passed of as a mental condition - there's so much that could have been done with it.As a quick read it was very fun. As something to think on later, it has depth - especially if you're familar with the referenced legends. All in all, I'd definitely recommend this book to others.
nolly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unusually for me, I read this immediately upon receiving it. It's a quick read -- I read it in about 45 minutes. This is a love story, of the sort with echoes back through time, told from two perspectives. Evelyn and Branden are both graduate students with a mutual interest in medieval poetry when they meet in Cornwall, though Evelyn doesn't know of Branden's academic credentials until their next meeting, years later, as professors at the same small college in Virginia. Their parting in Cornwall was sudden, triggered by an event neither of them fully comprehended, but when they meet again, they pick up almost as though they never parted. But the time has not yet come for their story to reach "happily ever after", and once again they are pulled apart. More time passes, not as much, and the story is left on the verge of fulfillment. It's clear what will happen next, but is it finally their turn for lasting happiness, or will the curse from the past intervene again?Like a previous reviewer, I read Evelyn's story first, and I think that's the better way to go. The "About the Author" is at the end of Brendan's story, not Evelyn's, which suggests someone involved with layout agreed with that assessment. I appreciated the believable way the matter of one character's ability to see the mythic reality was addressed -- if someone is seeing fairies and trolls in this day and age, they get medicated. I'm not sure the unusual accordion binding added anything that a more traditional double / flip binding wouldn't have, but it wasn't too difficult to manage after the first few pages, and it is different.