By Tahereh Mafi
Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
(Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
If you listen to writers talk they discuss an element in a story called ‘voice’. I think ‘voice’ is a little hard to explain, but to me, it’s who the character really is jumping off the page. In this case, Alice, the main character, in Furthermore is a precocious 12-year-old girl but she doesn’t passively tell others what to do – she is out dancing, searching, screaming, barely putting on her clothes, and wishing for more than she’s been allotted. Alice (reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland) has fabulous ‘voice’.
The second ‘voice’ in this book that takes center stage is the omniscient author. This voice gives us little asides like ‘dear friend’, or ‘I didn’t want to tell you’, or ‘Oliver Says I’m Terrible At Chapter Headings’. It’s been used in a charming way and not over-done, so I was very pleased.
Oliver is a pickle of a boy: he lies, he manipulates others, did I mention he lies? So, why do we like him? He’s insecure and actually wants to do good. In Alice, he finds the friend that he needed.
The world building is colorful, rich, daring, and nutters. From a ruler that measures the time you’re allowed to have while traveling, to origami foxes that might accidentally have your arm turn to paper and get ripped off, to houses made of large eggs (we no idea how large the creature is that laid them), you are bound to be entertained. There were moments that felt reminiscent of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Furthermore is strange and wonderful.
In conclusion, I believe you will want more of Furthermore and even more.
5 out of 5 stars
If you love Furthermore try The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray by B. A. Williamson and Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill.