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Madappleby Christina Meldrum
Synopses & Reviews
THE SECRETS OF the past meet the shocks of the present.
Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.
When Aslaugs mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mothers death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaugs birth. About what she should do next.
About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.
Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Madapple is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention—and of the darkest corners of the human soul.
"Theology is on trial in this extraordinary first novel, which alternates between courtroom transcripts and a first-person account by the heroine, Aslaug, prosecuted for murders allegedly committed when she was 15. Carefully peeling back the facts entered in court, Meldrum lyrically describes Aslaug's isolated upbringing by the solitary Maren, a Danish polymath who educates Aslaug in science and languages — and in the medicinal value of the plants they collect near their Maine home; as Aslaug's story begins, Maren retreats into the hallucinatory powers of jimsonweed, or madapple, and dies without telling Aslaug the identity of her father. Flung into the contemporary world, Aslaug finds Maren's sister, a charismatic preacher, and her children, then hears explosive secrets about her conception, including Maren's claim never to have had a lover. Before long, Aslaug, too, is pregnant, and struggling to piece together her cousins' conflicting views of Maren's research into virgin births and pre-Christian messiahs. The author's timing is impeccable: her courtroom revelations advance the narrative while altering readers' perceptions of events, and Aslaug's ruminations force readers to question all they take in. Audiences will need some intellectual mettle for the densely seeded ideas, but they won't be able to stop reading. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, this debut novel is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention--and of the darkest corners of the human soul.
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Templeton has lived her entire life in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming commune in the Missouri Ozarks. She and her cousin Heather are closer than sisters and they share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers both her best friend and her community are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
About the Author
Christina Meldrum is a former attorney who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Madapple is her first novel.
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