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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Recluse Storyteller by Mark Sasse

The stories haunt Margaret every waking moment, but they are anything but random. A fractured view Michael Cheevers' red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D transports her mind to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies bring her to the brink of exhaustion as she stares intensely into the heart of war, deep in the jungle of Vietnam.

Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She's like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaning crumbs of information at every turn. Her eyes peer incessantly in the night, stealing glances of the neighbors through partially opened doors.

But the tales she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story--and everything would be different if they could only hear the prophetic words of the rambling recluse.

The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner, Margaret, not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society.

When I first started reading this book I wasn’t too sure that I would enjoy it however as time progressed I started to enjoy the unique storytelling.

The story centers around Margaret who is a recluse living in an apartment building and will onlyleaves her apartment when she knows everyone else around is sleeping (so usually late at night).  Margaret may not really know her neighbors personally has she hasn’t talked to any of them but unware to them she watches them and creates stories based on each and every one of them.

The book contains five stories each different from the other however as the story continues they start to interwin with each other and coming to one main story of the inhabitants of the apartment building.

I did find the style of writing hard to follow as it seemed to jump around and I found myself getting lost between what was Margaret’s stories that she was writing or what was “real”.  With that being said, the author’s style is very unique and all though I struggled with balance so to speak in the book, I thought he wrote the story quite well and the flow was good.


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