Monday, June 27, 2011

The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder

This book is a modern fairy tale, a lighthearted philosophy lesson, and a reminder that life is a miraculous and beautiful gift. As the story begins, Hans Thomas and his father are traveling to Greece in search of Hans Thomas' long-lost mother. A strange little man gives Hans Thomas a magnifying glass, and a kind old baker gives Hans Thomas a sticky bun containing a tiny book that can only be read using the magnifying glass. The book contains a fantastic fairy tale about a shipwrecked sailor and a magical island populated by a suit of cards that mysteriously came to life. But as Hans Thomas reads further, he realizes that the story in the book relates to him and his family, and it might not be entirely fictional.

The narrative switches back and forth between philosophical conversations between Hans Thomas and his father, and the fantastic story in the sticky bun book. This keeps the book balanced so it does not become too silly. Well-written and whimsical, I recommend this to anyone who is looking for light and interesting summer reading. This story will leave you smiling.

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P.S. All trolls will be fed to the bookworms.