To write a review of a book that is so unusual is a daunting task in itself and yet I want to, only because I want more people to read what I have finished reading and loved. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs has stayed with me since the past four days and I have loved every minute of reading this fascinating novel. I stretched it to four days only because I didn’t want it to end so soon and yet it had to. Let me now tell you something about the book.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as the title suggests is centered on a home for peculiar children in Wales on an isolated island in 1940 during the World War II – children who were abandoned by their parents or wards. One of the children manages to leave the home and starts a normal family in America. Abraham Portman is old and claims to see monsters. His son and daughter do not believe him and carry on with their lives and their families. His grandson Jacob Portman wants to believe his grandfather’s stories and yet they seem too bizarre to be believed, even though as a child his grandfather supported the peculiar children’s stories with pictures.
Few days before turning sixteen, Jacob witnesses the death of his grandfather outside his house, claiming to be killed by a monster, and asking Jacob to find, “the bird, on the other side of the grave”. Encouraged by his psychiatrist Jacob takes on a journey to the island – years after – hoping to find something of his grandfather’s past only to encounter nothing. This is not it. He does find something. Something exciting and shocking, which obviously I cannot reveal in the review. That is for you to read and find out.
This book is a treat. It stayed with me for a very long time till I picked it up and read it hungrily. The book mixes fiction with photography brilliantly and it is one of those books that cannot be read on a Kindle or a Nook. It deserves the stature of a read late into the night, where sometimes it scares you as well, in parts. What I think every reader will love in this book are the photographs of the children, of the house, of Miss Peregrine and of almost everything that propels the story.
The writing is brilliant – Ransom Riggs ensures the necessary elements are brought together perfectly – the characters, the plot and the photographs merge beautifully. I recommended the book while reading it and am recommending it now. It is a book that you shouldn’t miss. Thank you Quirk books for publishing it. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has to one of my favourite books this year and I am sure there is a sequel waiting in line.