Sunday, 28 September 2014

Conversion - Katherine Howe

I decided I needed to get something actually book related up here. Because a lame introduction is boring. So last week, I finished reading Conversion by Katherine Howe.
My fiancé, Brian, and I were spending his hoard of teacher received book gift cards recently (which was awesome, by the way) and he came across Conversion.
Neither of us had heard of the book or Katherine Howe yet, though after reading it I can't imagine why. But anyways. Not the point. It sounded interesting. So we picked it up. It was the only book we picked up impulsively. Everything else was a previously planned purchase, or something Brian needed for school or something.


Confession. I was in a bit of a reading slump. I was trying to read a large fantasy book that...I just wasn't feeling. Not that it's not an amazing book. It is. Well, I still haven't read it. But based on the others in the series, it's amazing. It's just steak while I was in the mood for chicken, or something like that.

So, enter Conversion. Conversion is both set in a modern Catholic private girl's school and 18th century Salem, Massachusetts. It dances back and forth between a mystery illness that's taking hold of the girls at St. Joan's Academy, and basically the story of one of the girls that's in The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  It's pretty cool, and it completely messes with you. There's no real way to explain it other than that. The stories both have nothing to do with each other and everything to do with each other. So you find yourself while reading one story wondering what that story is implying about what may or may not happen in the other story. But it has a lot of implications and not a lot of outright telling, so you're forced to use your brain to figure out what's going on.

Now, Brian will tell you that typically when a story leaves me not knowing exactly what happened when and where and how I get a little...well...irritated. But Katherine Howe does it in a way that's more interesting and inviting you to form your own opinions of what really is happening.

So, if you're looking for a book that's both modern and not, has a little mystery, real life, and maybe a touch of fantasy (but does it?) then I highly suggest Conversion. I think if you've read The Crucible, it might be even cooler to read, but I haven't and still highly enjoyed this book. And I think it does a good job of explaining where they tie together. But if someone out there has read both, you should probably let me know if it's a touch cooler to read if you've read The Crucible.


(Note: The oft mentioned Brian has forced me to underline all the titles as proper grammar dictates and I HATE IT. And by forced I mean, suggested. Ugh. Grammar.)

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