Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg
I received a free copy of Foxlowe from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Foxlowe is the story of a young girl called Green who has grown up in a large house on the English moors, surrounded by countryside, clean air, fresh food, and lots of room to run and play. Sounds perfect right? It's not! The beautiful big house Green grew up in was actually a commune.
Foxlowe is Green's story of growing up in this environment. It's told by her adult self after having left the commune. As a result, a large majority of the story is from a young child's point of view and is unreliable and hard to follow at times. There is also a complete lack of quotation marks used in the dialogue which makes it even harder to follow.
As a reader I only saw the characters as Green saw them, this made them feel very one dimensional. There was no depth to them, everything I knew and learned about them was very simplistic and experienced through a child's eyes. It made it hard to put everything together, to understand the motivations and choices of the other characters.
There were so many loose ends and gaps in the story because of this unreliable, one-dimensional POV. What drove each of them to join the commune? Why did they all look to Freya? What were the dynamics of the relationships? What was the history between Freya and Richard? Where did Green and Blue come from? Who started the commune and why, and what is the history of the commune itself? What is the scattering? The time of crisis? The bad?
The split of the commune was never explored properly. There is a very basic explanation but again it's through a child's eyes and it needed more. There are many things left unexplained, stories half told, much that I don't know and would like to have had answers to, and many characters and occurrences that I would have liked to have seen expanded much more than they were.
I'm not sure I would recommend it. There are much better cult/commune books out there. I feel like Foxlowe was lacking a lot and only scratched the surface of what it could have been. Green was just too unreliable as a narrator.
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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