"I hate how quiet it is. One smelly dog fart and then nothing, you almost think you've gone deaf. A person in my position begins to think about things, death even. About death and time and why it is I'm afraid sometimes at night sitting and watching the two of them reading and almost not breathing but for the books moving up and down like something floating on top of the ocean. "
I am 100 pages into Mathilda Savitch and I am enthralled. This Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award Winner had me hooked from page 1. Mathilda is a dark and quirky character that has me laughing out loud one moment and gasping with despair the next. Mathilda's voice is so clear, so honest, you feel as though you've been slapped in the face.
"If you want to know, I was born in this house with this dog and those two, teachers of all things. A blue house. If you look at it from outside, you'd swear it had a face, the way the windows are. Window eyes, a window nose, and a door for a mouth. Hi house, I say whenever I come home. I've said this for as long as I can remember. I have other things to say, better than this, but I don't tell anyone. I have secrets and I'm going to have more. Once I read a story about a girl who died, and when they opened her up they found a gold locket in her stomach and the feathers of a bird. Nobody could understand it. Well, that's me. That's my story, except what are they going to find in my stomach, who knows? It's definitely something to think about."
Off-beat, quirky, funny, startling, odd, dark, painful, uncomfortable, honest... touching. And that's only the first third of the book.