Thursday, February 6, 2014
Since seven is a number of completeness, it is fitting that Sedgwick chose to divide this novel into that many stories. Each takes place in different time, but on the same island and with unnervingly similar characters. You'd think we'd start at the beginning and work our way into the present, but instead, the tale of these interwoven fates begins in the future and extends back into a time unknown. The major players are a man who in the present is named Eric Seven and a woman named Merle, although names frequently change to fit the time. Eric did not even live on the island in several vingnettes, but was sometimes visiting or stranded there. He was always in love with Merle, although sometimes she was of a different age, and at times his daughter, mother or sister. Each story is hauntingly beautiful, with symbols and phrases tying together the tales in unexpected ways. But the completeness comes from the connection that ties one story to another, such as how the bones of 2 people became intertwined that is an archaeologists' greatest discovery. Quite a worthy Printz award recipient.