Wisdom's Kiss: a book for brave readers

Wisdom's Kiss is even more unconventional than Catherine Gilbert Murdock's other books, and I would highly recommend it for brave readers. The storytelling is unusual with each character narrating their part in 2-3 page chapters, alternating between the script of a stage play, letters from one character to another, diary entries and heirloom stories passed on to a younger generation.

The characters are distinct and their voices recognizable, but the brevity of the chapters prevents the character development from progressing very far. The storyline is like nothing I have ever come across. As we found with Princess Ben, this fairytale is highly unconventional and readers will need to cope with a little heartbreak before it finds a resolution.

Murdoch explained her motive for the unexpected plot twists as wanting to help young readers understand that they probably won't discover their true love by the age of 16. This is a wonderful improvement to the overly sentimental literature that clogs young adult shelves, although I'm not certain that all young readers would find their hearts sufficiently consoled by the end to actually like the story.

Mature readers who can brave the unconventional format and storyline will find it rewarding and worthwhile, though it probably wouldn't suit young readers looking for a nice sweet read.

Clare Cannon lives in Sydney where she is the manager of Portico Books and editor of the soon to be launched www.GoodReadingGuide.com  


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