Kathleen (Appleton WI)
Madapple: Captivating and Complex
Madapple is a very good read and evoked many emotions in me. I was captivated by the characters in this story and at times, was even willing to suspend rational thinking and accept the "miracle birth". The terrible truth took me by surprise, which hopefully is more indicative of the author's skill than my naivety. I highly recommend this book to adults and mature teens , especially those who are interested in herbs, complex relationships, and the dichotomy between religion and science. The subject matter may be disturbing to some readers and if you don't care about herbs, this book might be hard to enjoy, but Madapple is sure to generate a great discussion.
Ann (Shenandoah IA)
I purchase books for teenagers; therefore I was intrigued by Madapple.
Aslaug, isolated from society, still manifests traits of an adolescent. Her naivete hinders her ability to understand some situations, but frees her from limitations in seeking solutions as well.
Some teens and parents might find the book objectionable, but the questions which might arise can lead to thoughtful discussions. I would include it in the collection I oversee.
The author's knowledge of botany and religions and her ability to weave them into the very core of the book is impressive.
Personally I found Madapple beautifully written, enlightening, and thought provoking.
Karen (Hendersonville TN)
Wow! That is the first word that came to mind when I finished this book. "Madapple" is listed as a book for teens, but as an adult, I absolutely loved it. There was mystery, intrigue and dysfunction all rolled into an amazing story. When I closed the book after reading the last page, I just sat there a minute, thinking. This book made me THINK! Many questions pop into your mind as you are reading, and they are all answered by the end of the story. I would recommend this book to everyone...adults and the teens it was intended for. A great book!
Velma (Jacksonville TX)
Madapple is a strange,compelling book that defies you to put it down. Classified for young adult readers it has an adult feel in its exploration of relationships, reality, and religion. Parents should be aware that it includes dark and/or controversial subjects which might be disturbing for some teenagers. That said, I found it to be an intelligent and enjoyable read. Definitely different from your average story.
Monica (Flagstaff AZ)
I originally requested this book for my 15 year old daughter to read and review,but she couldn't get into it so I decided to try to read it. I have to admit that I started the book with a negative bias, but I soon found myself pulled into the story and ended up enjoying it quite a bit.
The storyline and characters are somewhat timeless and mystical, but the characters interactions make for a very compelling read. I especially liked the dynamics between the young adults and their elders. The author's method of interweaving the courtroom scene into the story kept the book grounded in the present. The main story was very surreal.
The author has an impressive knowledge of ancient religions and medicinal plants and I found a lot of the material fascinating. But, it is precisely these subjects that would keep me from recommending this book to anyone under the age of 18.
Dorothy (Front Royal VA)
This story was like reading my own bio. Parents who want to control their children, like Aslaug's mother, unknowingly emotionally abuse their children. Aslaug may have learned a lot about "mother nature" but not how easily this mother earth knowledge can't help in real life.
Thanks for a good read!
Heather (Brooklyn NY)
Provocative, Disturbing, Brilliant
Very suspenseful and involving! I was fascinated by Aslaug's life: her profoundly disturbed mother, her abrupt immersion into civilization as we know it, and her coming of age amidst accusations of murder. She is a brilliantly written character.
The author's scholarship is impressive, but better yet she is excellent at portraying empathetic characters. I felt great compassion for Aslaug as she struggles emotionally, psychologically, and physically with her search for connection; she has some heavy monkeys on her back for a fifteen year old. She also has great intelligence, perseverance, and courage.
I would absolutely read this author again (I couldn't put Madapple down once I'd begun it!), and plan on sharing my copy of Madapple with members of my book club. Madapple is controversial, haunting, and illuminating ... highly recommended.