10 October 2012

REVIEW: Auraria by Tim Westover. A Modern Day Folktale......Sort Of??

For the longest time, I honestly didn't know how I felt about Auraria: A Novel. To say the least, it was not what I expected...but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. Tim Westover tells an interesting story that is part fantasy, part history, part folklore, and part fairy tale. I am happy to say that he blends all of those genres successfully. The story takes place in Auraria, Georgia and is steeped in local folklore, which was both a blessing and a curse for me. I think that I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I was more familiar with the folklore that was the basis for the story. On the other hand, I love folklore and this book inspired me to do a little more research on the folklore and history of this area of Georgia. I also love quirky and weird characters, and this book was loaded with people who would fit that bill. As I read, I was continually reminded of the writing of Washington Irving. Both The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle come instantly to mind. As all good examples of fairy tales, folklore and local legend do, this story also had a lesson to teach. Often the lesson is not immediately apparent, as is the case here. I thought the author did a great job of wrapping his message in an interesting story, filled with characters that a reader would enjoy reading about, and finished off with an ending that was as satisfying as it was appropriate.