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Bibliophilic Monologues

The Folk Keeper

The Folk Keeper (Jean Karl Books) - Franny Billingsley Franny Billingsley has magic in her fingers. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she has magic in her mind. There are conventional ways to create characters and then there's the Franny B. way. Her protagonists (I've read three of her books so I know what I'm talking about) have this certain quality of otherness. This, how do I say it, unearthliness to them that make all of them just so fascinating to read. Corinna is no different. The story is told in the first person and from the very beginning, the reader has to take a breath to adapt to the curious manner in which Corinna thinks. You have to sift through her words, through her actions to find the daily-normal life explanations. Some people will find Corinna difficult to relate to. I know I did. Some will find her a bit too honest. But there's something that everyone (albeit unwillingly) will agree to: Corinna is compelling. She is an intriguing character and because she is intriguing, you will read through the book, experiencing (in a slightly diluted manner) the events that lead to the book's conclusion.I also adore (and I don't use the word often so you know I mean it) the romance in the book. It is mush-free and just sneaks up on you with a subtlety and a delicacy that is a testament to Billingsley's skill. The book, though slim, offers a lot within its pages. The story it tells is, in no way, simple. The complexity is disguised by the enigma of Corinna and the reveal at the end will elicit understanding. If it wasn't clear before now, I enjoyed this novel. And if you like something different, something other than mush and the run of the mill tortured romance, you should read this.