Sunday, April 24, 2016

What is Laura Williams McCaffrey reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Laura Williams McCaffrey, author of Marked.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and I suppose I was a little late to the party on this one, as it won the Printz Award and was a National Book Award Finalist. At the story’s start, a reader might not be entirely certain the story is a fantasy. The world seems a fairly mundane, if quirky, small town. Something strange has occurred — a girl has disappeared, completely vanished, but most of the characters guess that she’s run off. The main character, Finn, saw her go with a man, and yet he has such vague memories of the man, it is difficult to tell whether or not he was mistaken. Soon, though, readers hear from Rosa, the girl who disappeared, and it’s clear she’s in danger, but not entirely in the conventional way. Her story has the feel of a fairy tale; an evil man comes to her each day and asks if she loves him yet. He seems certain she will.

As I try to analyze what I love so much about the novel, I can think of many reasons. The voices of the narrators, as well as the other characters, are vulnerable. And yet, they have hurt each other, and they continue to, often as a way of protecting themselves. The walls they build around themselves leave them lonely.

I also love Ruby’s use of mythology. Her story seems to spring from this mythology in the way that...[read on]
About Marked, from the publisher:
Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.
Visit Laura Williams McCaffrey's website.

The Page 69 Test: Marked.

Writers Read: Laura Williams McCaffrey.

--Marshal Zeringue