You may remember from my Hobbit review that I’m taking part in the Reading to Distraction reading challenge this year. In this challenge, based on a BuzzFeed article, you read one favorite childhood book, and then read a similar, grown-up version. It has taken me a while to get around to the next book pairing on my list, because of the “adult book” in the pairing.
The books in this pairing are Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (if you’re a long time reader of this blog, you can probably see where this is going) and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. According to the BuzzFeed article, here’s the connection:
Walk Two Moons is a story within a story, told by a girl longing for her missing mother. The tale she weaves is fantastical, tinged with spirituality, mysticism, grief, a bit of romance, and rich descriptions of the land. Marquez’s epic masterpiece widens the scope of each of those themes. In a long and entrancing history of the mythical town of Macondo, he writes about love, revolution, prosperity, loss, and the tragic rise and fall of a family.
Walk Two Moons
The Newbery book Walk Two Moons is one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it as a kid, and I continue to reread it even now. Sal is a fantastic character, and her world is populated with the same kind of offbeat but lovable characters that Sharon Creech is so good at writing. There’s a bit of mystery, some humor, and some very moving moments as Sal regales her grandparents with the tale of her friend’s missing mother, as they journey to visit Sal’s own missing mother. The story is one you won’t soon forget, and it holds up to repeated re-readings.
Rating: Re-read Worthy
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Unfortunately, this book did not even come close to the power of Walk Two Moons for me. One Hundred Years left me feeling confused and often bored. First of all, all the characters have the same names. I get that the author is using that as a tool to connect the generations of this messed-up family and show that time, for them, is circular and repetitive, but I still had an incredibly hard time figuring out who was who. The book was full of magical realism–not often something I enjoy–and it was often more atmospheric than plot-oriented (if you want to see my previous ventures into hefty, atmospheric books, look here and here).
Rating: Not My Cup of Tea
Now that I’ve read both books in this pairing, I can sort of see why BuzzFeed chose to put these two together. Both have an almost magical feel at times (though the level of this magic varies wildly), and both have a sense of timelessness, in that the characters do not seem to experience time in the same way that we do. However, I was very disappointed not to find a grown-up version of my childhood favorite, Walk Two Moons. But maybe that’s okay–maybe Walk Two Moons is just as grown up as it needs to be. It certainly didn’t suffer in my latest re-reading, and I definitely recommend that you pick it up, no matter what your age.