"And what's so small to you
Is so large to me
If it's the last thing I do
I'll make you see"
-- Suzanne Vega "Rock in this Pocket(Song of David)"
"The house had belonged to my parents before they became nonexistent. It made their disappearance more final. Dotted their eyes, made the question mark next to the why that much bigger, that much harder to avoid. At that time, Mum and Dad had vanished over a year back. There were many unexplained disappearances: neighbors and friends who like my parents had been rubbed out, their names forgotten, all knowledge of them denied by the authorities.
"It had struck me that the world was full of holes, holes which you could fall into, never to be seen again. I couldn't understand the difference between disappearance and death. Both seemed the same to me, both left holes. Holes in your heart. Holes in your life. It wasn't hard to see how many holes there were. You could tell when there was another one. The lights would be switched off in the house, then it was either blown up or pulled down."
Young dyslexic Standish Treadwell lives with his gramps in Zone Seven of the Motherland. This is not a good thing. As Mr. Lush says, "There are no good signs in Zone Seven." Fortunately, at least for a while, Mr. Lush, his wife, and their son Hector show up in the adjoining house where Standish used to live with his parents. But this too shall pass.
An allegorical tale accompanied by images, I didn't worry too much about trying to analyze all of the potential parallels as I read it. I just soaked up the yummy writing that comes at you in brief chapters, and found kinship with the heroic Standish Treadwell, who puts his life on the line for what he knows is right, and then, when all has been taken from him, uses his well-hidden smarts and stands up to the giant.
And being a guy, I am sitting here feeling the Standish and Hector relationship deep down in my bones.
Lots to savor; lots to think about.
Ages 12 and up 288 pages 978-0-7636-65531