“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs
(FYI — We totally have a baby now! Born October 7th!)
Sometimes books leap from the page – and go “Boom.”
Ransom Riggs’ debut novel “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” is Boom book.
It begins with the cover, shown to the left. Take a look at it. A close look. Once you get past the image of the little girl in the crown, you may notice that she’s levitating.
Throughout “Miss Peregrine..” there are scattered photos of equally creepy children in various poses and costumes, along with images of letters and other writings. Every cleverly-inserted piece becomes part of a well-constructed and unshakable story. It’s a completely surprising book that manages to be a little bit “Neverwhere,” and a tiny bit “Peter Pan,” while being a completely original and modern dark fairy/adventure tale at the same time.
I can only write a few things about the novel without spoiling something, so here goes. Teenage Jacob is basically a slacker who has grown up listening to his beloved grandfather’s stories of the strange children he knew in his own childhood. A few years ago, Jacob stopped believing in the stories, and his grandfather grew reclusive. La-di-da, things happen, and Jacob winds up on a quest to locate the mysterious Miss Peregrine and her home, with no idea of what he’s really getting himself into.
There, that didn’t spoil too much. It’s a big mystery wrapped in an adventure wrapped in a story about family and finding oneself. And also a little bit about the things we don’t know are inside us and the things that go bump in the night.
The hardcover edition (at least) is beautifully produced, with the photographs and other imagery vividly inserted. Going back to that cover image – how wonderful, right? I’ve been intrigued by the book since the first time I saw it on a shelf. (Yes, I’ll judge a book by it’s cover if the cover is this awesome.)
A beautifully produced book that’s also a brilliant novel? Yes, please.