Among Others by Jo Walton

IMG_0940“There are some awful things in the world, it’s true, but there are also some great books.”

Young Mori has had a very challenging childhood, being raised by a witch mother who experimented with dangerous magic.  Mori found comfort among the faeries that lived in her hometown in Wales and she found escape in numerous science-fiction novels.  After a battle with deadly consequences, Mori is sent to England to be under the care of her father and where she is to attend boarding school.  Told through diary entries, Mori gives us her story in her own words.

Touching and at times heart-breaking, Among Others is a coming-of-age story with a fantasy twist.  Mori is an incredibly endearing character and you really get to connect to her experiences through her daily diary entries.  The fantasy aspect of this novel is very subtle, with the world being as we know it and the magical aspects existing but not clearly visible to all.  When reading the book this could be interpreted as the result of an overactive imagination or delusion, however, what the story demonstrates is that magic is visible to those who are willing to see it.  I did find the book started to drag a little about three quarters of the way through and the fantasy part didn’t really click with the rest of the story as it reached its conclusion.

“If you love books enough, books will love you back.”

The true heart of Among Others is Mori’s love of books and fans of science-fiction will appreciate all the works that are mentioned and discussed throughout the novel.  And anyone who has ever found solace and comfort in books will fall in love with Mori and her love of libraries and the magic that is interlibrary loans.

You can find the list of books mentioned in Among Others here.

“It doesn’t matter.  I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.”

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