It’s time for a spring clean at Brontë Babe Blog, so let’s start with a refined version of my review of Catherynne M. Valente’s 2017 children’s novel, The Glass Town Game.
Siblings Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë invent a fantasy world named Glass Town, acting out battles between their twelve toy soldiers and Napoleon. It’s a world in which the siblings can escape from the burden of loss and grief that hangs over their heads; nobody dies and everyone lives to see another day and another round of the the Glass Town game. But with Charlotte and Emily about to be sent away to boarding school. the siblings are about to be divided, and their world abandoned.
One incredible day the siblings board a train and are transported to a very real Glass Town which bears many similarities to their own. Although they gladly exchange their bleak lives for a fantasy land, they soon discover there are also many differences to their own Glass Town, and that people don’t always live to see another day like in their games. The siblings must battle their own imagination for survival as they interact with their own characters, as well as try to navigate their way through a dangerous world they think they know, but is not quite their own.
Overall this is a fun novel which plays on the Brontës imaginary world in a delightful way. There is a good mixture of the Brontës and Valente. At over 500 pages it’s possibly a little too long for its intended age range of 8-12 years but it is a lot of fun. It’s also a good read for those interested in the Brontë juvenilia.
In Loving Memory of Bob the Bichon (2007-2019).
A lover of life, the Brontës, and Haworth who knows that I’m just going to write because I can’t help it.
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