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Book Review: The Changeling by Victor Lavalle

3⭐️’s from me

Goodreads Summary: “Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act—beyond any parent’s comprehension—and vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard

31147267full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he h

ad lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love.”

My Review:

This novel starts off incredibly well. The excitement and mystery quickly drew me in.  Apollo, a man tormented by his past family issues, struggles to live-up to his own expectations of the perfect father. He strives to be the best for his family, but doesn’t quite realize what it is costing him. This is an excellent depiction of the conflict between social expectations and reality.

True to fairy tale form, this normal beginning soon introduces dark elements. The story picks up the pace that somehow within its fantasy still seems to capture the struggles of the modern day. It was hands-down a creative and exciting ending – that definitely shocks.

Unfortunately, this was a little too unrealistic for me; but I know this is not my typical genre. If it is, definitely give this one a try!

**I received my copy via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.**

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