I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the beautiful and enchanting Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris, much loved and critically acclaimed author of the Chocolat series of books. Thank you to Anne Cater and Gollancz for giving me the opportunity to read and review this exquisite book.
About the book:
The stunning new novella from No 1 bestselling author Joanne Harris: Orfeia is a gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus Myth, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins.
When you can find me an acre of land, Every sage grows merry in time, Between the ocean and the sand, Then will you be united again.
So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.
But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .
About the author:
Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime.
Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born.
Find out more at http://www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat
Orfeia is a stunning and original modern fairytale brought vividly to life by the exquisite pen of Joanne Harris, critically acclaimed author of the outstanding Chocolat series of books. It is a beautifully written book that really spoke to me on a personal level, taking a hold of my heart and never letting go as I was swept up in a lyrical tale of grief and loss, that is all wrapped up in the guise of a dark and tragic fairytale.
It is a retelling of the Greek mythology surrounding Orpheus, a tale I’d heard of but knew very little about. Breathtakingly illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this novella may only be small in stature, but from the gorgeous cover to the powerfully emotive words within, Orfeia is an exquisite work of art that I know I will go back to again and again.
There is something in the way Joanne Harris writes that I find mesmerising, her words weaving their magic as I’m instantly transported to a dreamlike world, my heart aching as a grieving and heartbroken mother tries to do everything in her power to save her lost daughter. I can’t even say why this book moved me as much as it did, as to do so would give away too much of the plot, so all I will say is prepare to be taken on a whimsical journey of love and loss that really does pack an emotional punch to the gut. There are so many memorable quotes in Orfeia, but there is one quote in particular that took my breath away with the stark reality behind the words, a truth I could feel with every fibre of my being as I read it:
Almost every fairy tale begins with the death of the parents. But the death of a child changes everything. The death of a child means no journey; no coming-of-age; no adventures; no happy-ever-after: All that remains of the tale is grief. Grief, the wingless bird in its cage, singing and singing and singing.
I honestly can’t even begin to find the words to say how much of an emotional impact Orfeia had on me. It is a fairytale unlike any other, written with such a depth of emotion that it took my breath away. Joanne Harris is an author whose words never fail to move me and I can’t wait to read whatever she comes up with next!
A stunning read that I would highly recommend.
Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
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