Coming as it does while the selling of books as we have known it would seem to be in its death throes, The Door to Lost Pages (CZP) at times reads like a dark love letter to the tiny, magical bookstores all of us with a bookish bent have known and loved.
A 10-year-old child runs away from home, surviving by her wits and cunning alone until a strange creature leads her to a bookstore called Lost Pages, a place more magical than it first appears that will impact her existence for the balance of her life. And nothing, ever, is quite what it seems to be.
Fantasy and what here passes for reality live shoulder-to-shoulder in an uncomfortable truce. Lalumière (Objects of Worship), a former January Magazine contributing editor, shapes simple-yet-elegant prose into a series of connected stories that become a complete tale. In some ways the story reminds the reader of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game meets Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with just a touch of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline thrown in for good measure. Of course, what all of that really means is that Lalumière’s voice is clearly his own and The Door to Lost Pages is quite unlike anything else you’ve read.◊
Linda L. Richards is editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.