The Thorn and The Blossom By Theodora Goss
I do 90% of my reading on an ereader, which is convenient for commute reading, easily brings me the sequel to the novel I’ve just finished, and fits neatly into my purse. So I was struck by the physical form of Theadora Goss’ new book, The Thorn And The Blossom, an accordion folded, double-sided story, in a heavy cardboard case for a package deceptively like a hardcover book. The book can be opened from either side, creating a physical book with two front covers, and a story with two beginnings and no end.
From either end, the story begins when Evelyn, an American would-be poet, meets Cornish Brendan Thorne in — where else? — a village bookstore. They discuss the local legend of Queen Elowen and knight Gawan, cursed by the jealous sorceress Morva, to spend a thousand years apart before they can be together. Destined, unstoppable true love is a theme I tend to avoid in my reading, but Goss expertly blends the all-encompassing passion, and the literary love story, with the history and myth of Arthurian legend, layered like the accordion folds of the novella.
The beautiful craftmanship and slightly awkward form of this novel is a perfect format for the love story within. It is just inconvenient and fragile enough to prohibit one-handed subway reading, making reading The Thorn and The Blossom into a more mindful activity.
In Goss’ The Thorn And The Blossom, fairies and witches’ curses and true love are real, but so is catching the bus and marking papers. This is magical realism at its best, a blend of epic love story and subtle affection. This story is for readers who believe in magic and true love, but not in lovers pining away, blandly waiting for a match to turn up and transform life.
Since the physical construction of the book is a major part of the
story, here is the video showing the awesome construction of this