My only goal yesterday was to wrap up three books I had in progress, and I did it! The Changeling was the second one (after my triumphant conclusion of Middlemarch). I finished it in the late afternoon, on a series of park benches and while walking along the greenway between the park and my neighborhood.
(Side note: does anyone else read while walking? It takes some getting used to, and the right book to hold comfortably in your hand as you move, but once you have the hang of it, it’s kind of great.)
This was my book club’s pick for the month; I went in blind and was SO surprised and delighted (in the darkest, most twisted way, to clarify). This story is based on folklore—a changeling often refers to a fairy child (or some “other”) left in the place of a human child who has been stolen by fairies, gods, creatures of the underworld, etc. I was familiar with that term, but when this book started out normally enough, I let it drift to the back of my mind. And then things got weird. What at first read like literary fiction about a relatively typical family quickly took on elements of suspense, horror, and the supernatural/mythical. I was surprised, scared, disgusted, and completely engrossed. Y’all. I was gasping aloud in a public park. Multiple times. I loved what LaValle did to update and modernize the well-established trope of the changeling. So interesting, and unsettling, and well-written.
I highly recommend this one, and also suggest reading it in the safety of daylight.