Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: Paperback copy
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
~ Synopsis & Photo from Goodreads
Warning: This review may have spoilers. If you haven’t read the book and you plan to please do not read this review! I haven’t learnt the art of writing a spoiler-free book review, yet.
It was such a heart-warming read! The overall feeling that Furthermore gave me was warm fuzzy feelings. It reminded me of when I was a kid and I’d listen to stories from whoever had one to tell. That wonder and magic of hearing about someone’s adventure. It made me want to have an adventure of my own! Furthermore was told in a wonderful way. It was like that scene you see in the movies where the grandchildren are gathered around the fireplace casting a warm orange glow to listen to a tale about something oh so long ago. It was a great use of third person narrative! The details and the intricacies of the world building were astounding. As I read it, I could see it unfolding in my mind. I could see the stillness of the town of Still and the darkness of the dark. The colours, oh the colours! Every time Alice described a taste of something I could almost taste it in my mouth. While the world-building was wonderful the characters were equally wonderful. None of them you could take at face value because there was always something else. Alice could identify everyone else’s good qualities but overlooked her own. Oliver is arrogant and has a perfect life, but his insecurities are slowly drowning him. Furthermore was beautiful, intricate, heart-warming and most of all relatable.
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow is a young girl who is different. Being different in a world where everything must be the same or else there is something wrong. Alice yearns, dreams and is desperate of being the same as everybody else. Despite having such a wonderful talent and being such a lovely girl she yearns to be something she cannot be. In a world of that is bursting and burning with colour Alice has none. In this world, she grows up dreaming, hoping and wishing for colour. Why doesn’t she fit in? Why is she this way? These are some things that Alice struggles with for the majority of the book and slowly learns to accept. Along the way, she realises that not everyone treats her like an outcast and that the few people who don’t care that she’s different are the people who matter to her. Alice may be different but her ability is amazing but because of her need to belong and her inability to use it to change herself she shuns it. Instead of nurturing it, she resents it and refuses to acknowledge her ability. Then there is Oliver who according to Alice is the complete opposite of her. Oliver who is popular and has an exciting quest and is accepted in their society when the reality is Oliver is so deathly afraid of rejection that he chooses to manipulate people and chooses to lie to maintain a feeling of belonging.
I really do relate a lot with Alice and Oliver because their internal challenges are quite similar to my own and I can see it reflected in our society as well. There is an important lesson in Furthermore that everyone must learn and that is to accept. To accept people for who they are and not force them into something who they cannot be but most of all to accept ourselves for who we are. Then to strive to be a better version of us.
Brief life update: Good news – I’m still alive and back to book blogging. (*eye roll* I’m so dramatic)
Bad News – I have a terrible case of the reading slump… *sigh*
END OF LIFE UPDATE