Neverhome drew me in with the first perfect sentence, and kept my rapt attention until the last, equally perfect, sentence. I’m not one to wax poetic about the writing (as you know if you’ve read a bit of this blog), but I can’t help but admit that Neverhome is beautifully written. I often feel that the first person perspective is used as a way to reduce the depth of a story and render it easier to write (any of your writers out there feel free to chime in and teach me otherwise). In this case, however, the whole point seems to be to draw the reader in, to urge us to invest ourselves in the story in a way not possible with another style of narrative.
And draw me in it did. Such a literary novel as this is not one I would have thought to keep me up late, but I stayed up into the dark hours to finish the last few chapters. I felt compelled to see it through, to find out whether my worst fears would come to pass, or if I would feel the blessed release of a happy ending. Never fear, I won’t give it away.
I couldn’t help but care for Ash/Constance (both names having some meaning within the context of the story). I didn’t always like her, but I always wanted her to make it, always wanted her to survive the next battle, the next hardship, the final challenge. I respected her and was in awe of her strength and courage. Most of all, I admired her willingness to admit where she may have put a shine on some darker parts of her story. And those darker, more surreal parts of her experiences are rendered in such simple prose, which drew me in and gave me a feel for how strange it was for her to walk through a war and make it out the other side.