30 December 2016

Trove: A Review of The GraceKeepers, Kirsty Logan

Christmas has passed and while still lit, the tree is less the glamour lady she was, having a slightly bowed expressions to her overall evergreen demeanor. Boxing Day's slothfully delightful hours have slipped into the sweet spot of the holidays. It is the holiday stretch, days have lost their significance, New Year's given little thought. Thankfully, NYE has been a home affair for years, having had enough of trying to find the right party, the right food, the right sparkle. Who needs sparkle when you can be safely secure in your PJs drinking champagne, while reading a fabulous book?

This Christmas book haul was an extravagant affair. The tower under the tree has pushed its way into the first bough of decorations self-proclaiming itself as the pretties thing on and under the canopy. Dragon-esque with smugness for my new trove, I quickly immersed myself into the bound fantastical worlds.

As a convoy of little boats, the circus circumnavigates a flooded world. Historically, sea levels rose, submerging nations, obscuring cities, dividing humanity into damplings (those of the sea) and landlockers. Sustaining a paltry existence through illusion, glitter, and shock the crew of the thirteen member crew strive to find emotional and physical security. 

Kirsty Logan's debut novel, The GraceKeepers  draws breath from the subversive clown culture of the buffoon. But this is not a clown story - it is the story of loss and of resurrection. While North, the bear girl dances with danger each night relying upon love to keep her beast bridled, Callanish, a Gracekeeper longs for forgiveness. 

A keeper of the dead, Callanish tends to her birds, acting as medium between the living and the dead. Gracekeepers and clowns provide a service to their fractured world. Seeped in fearful superstition, damplings and landlockers are reliant upon these two types of intermediaries to release them from the bindings of their own nightmares. As humanity begins a new journey, evolving with the sea, the two young women hope to survive.

The Gracekeepers is a delight. I could not have asked for a more poetically beautiful novel to read as my last for 2016.