Trying to make sense of moral chaos
Fairy tales usually have happy endings, where everyone gets what they deserve. But the world you face after you close a book is quite different.
In “The Book of Lost Things” by David Connolly, it doesn’t take long for our main character David to realize that. His ailing mother passes away even after millions of prayers and his father remarries, which David sees as a betrayal of his mom.
David’s hatred of his half-brother gets more and more intense. One day as he’s reading fairy tales in the attic, he gets sucked into a bizarre enchanted forest. He finds himself in a world of twisted fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood is seducing the wolf and Snow White exploits the seven dwarfs.
To get back home, David has to read The Book of Lost Things, which is in the king’s possession. On his way to meet the king, he is attacked by wolves and chased by monsters. A crooked man appears and tempts him to betray somebody in return for his escape from this damned world.
“People will always fight, harass, hurt and betray. Now you know what it is like to live in this world. The world took your mother away and you will get old and sick too,” says the crooked man.
The wolves are right on his heels and he is scared to death. But even after David realizes that the world is no fairy tale, will he succumb to the moral pitfall of betrayal?
“When I was young,” David says, “I thought it was natural for bad people to get punished. But now I think it is too cruel. I can’t say that those punishments are reasonable.”
As David matures, readers empathize with him because they can relate to his experiences. We learn that real growth is the power that changes hatred into forgiveness. This book is especially recommended for anyone with teenage angst.