Synopses & Reviews
Six-year-old Lily Newman accompanies her mother, Charlotte, on a late-summer visit to her Aunt Beth's sheep farm in the middle of wild Welsh countryside. Beth, whom Charlotte considers to have greatly disappointed their parents by marrying a humble carpenter, now lives with her son and triplet daughters, her husband having died two years earlier.
While staying on the farm, Lily becomes fixated with a fairy tale her cousins make up about a Mushroom Man and vanishes one morning into the nearby forest. The adults suspect an abductor, while the children wonder if, indeed, their story about the Mushroom Man and his invisible-making powers has come true. As each group pursues their own solutions, relationships are strained and carefully constructed facades come crumbling down.
With sparkling prose, The Mushroom Man explores the fine border between reality and myth, and introduces Sophie Powell as a wry and sophisticated new talent in fiction.
"Powell makes a charming debut with this touching comedy....Powell neatly juggles many elements here: sibling rivalry, a marriage gone sour, widowhood. Her wry, playful prose...assured voice and unerring eye for detail make her one to watch." Publishers Weekly
"An engaging debut....A charming and thought-provoking tale that walks the line between fantasy and reality with all the skill of tightrope-artist. The British-born Powell, now an NYU grad student, has made a splendid start." Kirkus Reviews
"First-time novelist Powell writes with remarkable assurance and dazzle as she spins this dew-bright tale of long-brewing adult unhappiness magically dispelled by the intuition and valor of smart and spirited children." Donna Seaman, Booklist
While staying on a farm, six-year-old Lily becomes fixated with a fairy tale about a Mushroom Man and vanishes one morning into the nearby forest. With sparkling prose, The Mushroom Man explores the fine border between reality and myth, and introduces Powell as a wry and sophisticated new talent in fiction.
About the Author
Sophie Powell was born in London, England, in 1980. She graduated in classics from Cambridge, and is now a student in New York University's creative writing program. Her short story "At the End of the Line" was selected by Zadie Smith for The May Anthologies 2001. She is currently at work on her second novel.