Book: The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Genre: Literary Fiction
For: TLC Blog Tour
I chose this book to read for this blog tour quite awhile back based only on a little blurb. It was very intriguing and it sounded like a magical sort of tale. It turned out to be so different from what I expected and yet, that magical element was still there. Hopefully I'll find the words to describe this strange and interesting book!
The main narrator in the story is a prison inmate on death row. We get inside his head and are meant to understand that he is quite mentally disturbed. And yet, he is also very observant and tame and sad. He watches everything that happens around him and thinks of this prison as an enchanted place. Not sure why except that he actually feels safe there. He has so many demons and issues that he's okay with his lot in life to stay put behind bars.
From his vantage point, we learn about the "fallen" priest and the lady. The lady is a lawyer who comes to try and save death row inmates from their death sentences. Sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she doesn't. We are able to follow her on her journey to try and find evidence to help these people. However, in this story, the guy she is trying to help does not want help. He wants to die.
As for the priest, we learn about his past and why he is "fallen" and what motivates him. These two end up connecting and learning from each other.
Meanwhile, we also learn about the warden and what problems he his facing and how he is a nice man that wants to protect the prison population and do whatever he can to make their lives better. However, there is a corrupt guard and some really ruthless inmates, as one can imagine, that make life miserable for the other prisoners, especially brand new young boys. It's disturbing.
We learn about all these different things and see all the different perspectives through the eyes of this mentally ill death row inmate. It's all colored with amazing imagery and beautiful poetic prose. Pair that with the things that go on in a prison and you get this strange and unusual mix that is oddly compelling and riveting.
I'm a huge Prison Break fan and many of the scenarios in this book reminded me of that show. So for me it was a sort of poetical Prison Break! Strange comparison, but that's what I thought of!
Bottom line: Though this turned out to be something so different from what I expected, I ended up being completely drawn in and totally enjoying it in the end. It's one of those books that make you think about the characters long after you finish reading it.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour:
Tuesday, March 04, 2014: Books Without Any Pictures
Wednesday, March 05, 2014: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, March 06, 2014: Conceptual Reception
Monday, March 10, 2014: Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, March 12, 2014: Book Addict Katie
Thursday, March 13, 2014: Walking With Nora
Monday, March 17, 2014: Bibliophiliac
Tuesday, March 18, 2014: Bibliotica
Wednesday, March 19, 2014: BoundbyWords
Thursday, March 20, 2014: A Book Geek
Monday, March 24, 2014: A Reader of Fictions
Tuesday, March 25, 2014: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, March 26, 2014: River City Reading
Thursday, March 27, 2014: Drey’s Library
Monday, March 31, 2014: Little Lovely Books
Tuesday, April 01, 2014: Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, April 02, 2013: Offbeat Vegabond
Thursday, April 03, 2014: Read Lately
More about the author:
Rene Denfeld is an internationally bestselling author, journalist, Mitigation Specialist, and fact Investigator in death penalty cases. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a published author of four books including the international bestseller The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, Kill The Body, The Head Will Fall, and All God’s Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families.
Find out more about Rene at her website and connect with her on Facebook.