Theirs is a small town, one that relies on the local logging industry for much of its economy. For years, native girls have been going missing but until now it’s never directly touched Leo and his friends. Recently graduated, they all find themselves in a bit of an odd spot: Leo is taking summer correspondence courses at his mother’s behest while also helping care for his ailing uncle, Jackie has taken a job in the kitchen at the logging camp, Ursie is working in housekeeping at one of the town’s few motels while her brother Bryan does the occasional work for the local drug gang, and Tessa spends her days looking after her sister’s kids. It’s this break—the time between school and really entering the real world—that leaves Ursie, Jackie, and Bryan particularly vulnerable to two strange newcomers: Hana Swann and Keven Seven.
Adrianne Harun’s debut is an oddball of a read. The story itself is a blending of mystery, folklore, and magical realism and Harun’s style is not only intriguing but somewhat hypnotic. The narrative is interspersed with legends and tales as told by Leo’s Uncle Lud. Each of the stories serve as little interludes that not only give the readers perspective into Leo’s character and the local culture, but also influence both the reader and Leo in teasing out the truth about Swann and Seven.
It’s a fascinating book that likely won’t appeal to everyone, but is a magical and engaging read for just the right audience.
3/14 Becky Lejeune
A MAN CAME OUT OF A DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN by Adrianne Harun. Penguin Books (February 25, 2014). ISBN 978-0670786107. 272p.