A strange book. I'm at a loss about how to describe it and have conflicted feelings about the content or maybe the presentation of the content.
Morgan Fletcher has been hiding on his secluded estate for years, his face destroyed in some unexplained event, unable to face the reaction people have when they see him. His companion is a housekeeper who is efficient, kindly, and unaffected by Morgan's appearance.
And then a child mysteriously appears and Morgan and his housekeeper take the child in and care for it. Then more children appear, the ages varying. None seem at all put off by Morgan's disfigurement, but...the children are strange.
When one of the children is ill, the local doctor is called in and eventually, he and Morgan become good friends. The three adults are protective of the children, but Morgan and Dr. Crane are gradually more and more puzzled by their behavior.
The author keeps everything indistinct, ambiguous, mysterious, and increasingly sinister. At some point I formed some suspicions, which proved to be true, but in the most unexpected and bizarre manner. I'm not at all sure about how to classify The Children's Home: parable, allegory, magical realism, psychological suspense, horror...? I'm not even sure that I liked it.
The Children’s Home is a genre-defying, utterly bewitching masterwork, an inversion of modern fairy tales like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass, in which children visit faraway lands to accomplish elusive tasks. Lambert writes from the perspective of the visited, weaving elements of psychological suspense, Jamesian stream of consciousness, and neo-gothic horror, to reveal the inescapable effects of abandonment, isolation, and the grotesque—as well as the glimmers of goodness—buried deep within the soul. SourceRead in June, 2015; blog review scheduled for Dec. 28, 2016.
Psychological/Fantasy? Jan. 5, 2016. Print version: 224 pages.