Book of the Month - October 2017
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
By Ruth Emmie Lang
A few months ago I came across an advertisement for Book of the Month Club, a monthly subscription service that gives you the choice of five new hardback books for half the cost of what they are in the store. Now, if you've been reading my BooksBooksBooks blog posts, you know that I love going to the actual bookstore and picking out my books. There's so much more love and magic in it if you get to feel the book and smell the parchment before buying. But I also had to come to grips with the fact that there is no bookstore in this small town I call home, and had to be practical how many times a month I could really afford the hour and a half drive to one. So I looked closer at the Book of the Month Club, and sure enough, it was a good decision for me!
While I have a couple months of books that I have received from Book of the Month, this month is the first month that I have actually been able to sit down and enjoy one .(No worries, I will get to the other too! They just may be part of my Pinterest Reading Challenge instead!) This month's books to choose from were:
- Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
- The Power by Naomi Alderman (Which I bought, also!)
- The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
- Beast of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
- After the Eclipse by Sarah Ferry
I decided to go with Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance do the the fairy-tale-esque quality it had. After all of the serious government spying and ugly and wonderful things, I needed something light to lift my soul and spirits.
Ruth Emmie Lang was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has the red hair to prove it. When she was four years old, she immigrated to Ohio where she has lived ever since. She has since lost her Scottish accent, but still has the hair.
Ruth currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and dreams of someday owning a little house in the woods where she can write more books.Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is her first novel. (source)
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door. (source)
When I started reading this month's Book of the Month selected book, I didn't like it. I had a hard time getting into the tale. Weird and odd things were happening in the story, and instead of the odd math being solved as the story went, it only continued to add up. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance looked to be an easy read and it was taking me much longer than it should have to finish it.
But then, just when I was about to put it down and try something else, when Mary Penlore makes a second appearance and everything changed. I began falling in love with the characters, and there are several that tell their version of Weylyn's story.
A story of an outcast, orphaned boy who was raised by wolves gives and essence of Call of the Wild or Julie of the Wolves, but then there is this added magical vein that runs through the heart of it. Throw in a love that may have been discovered too late, and you have a magical tale that will have you looking at the squirrels in your back yard differently, and make memories of that long-forgotten first-love bubble to the surface: Are they secretly watching me? Were they the one that got away?
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a fairy-tale in today's world. A mythological love story that has you rooting for the bad guy to loose, not that there really is a bad guy other than timing and, well, circumstance. This wonderful debut novel by Ruth Emmie Lang, leaves me wonder and excitement to see more of what's to come!
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.
Love this book? Check out Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.
Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies. At 13, an orphan, and unhappily married, Miyax runs away from her husband's parents' home, hoping to reach San Francisco and her pen pal. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food, no shelter, and no idea which is the way to safety. Now, more than ever, she must look hard at who she really is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl of the old ways? Or is she Julie (her "gussak"-white people-name), the modernized teenager who must mock the traditional customs? And when a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, Miyax must learn to think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving? (source)
Start a conversation: Would you be able to survive in the wilderness? Would you be able to co-inhabit with wolves?
Have a book you’d like to suggest or one you’d like me to review? Please feel free to leave your comments down below.