|This cover is gorgeous.|
This was such a fun read and there were many cake recipes throughout the pages that I would love to try (and I will, eventually).
An amazon summary, "Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady's past and how she became an orphan. If she's lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.
Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we're all connected." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
I love this book; it is fun, it is clever, it introduces an idea that people may possess peculiar talents (yet not in a perceived world altering way such as a superhero might), and the knitting together of relationships that forms a family.
The summary and the style of the book might lead you to believe that Cadence (or Cady) is at the center of the story or 'the heart of the knot' (haha I'm soooo clever at wordplay...). I would like to make the argument that the relationships and what ties us all together as a community is the heart of the story.
The story is told from multiple points of view and as such each chapter brings about a different perspective; however, I found that this was a clever way to strengthen the story and led each piece find it's place.
Alright let me backtrack and talk about the first third of the book to give you more of a feel of what you're getting yourself into.
The book begins with a seemingly normal prologue of a man whose talent is to tie intricate knots and who is traveling on the train to collect an inheritance yet he carries a particular suitcase, a St. Anthony's suitcase, and there were only 36 ever made. He seems to have a pleasant conversation with a stranger and puts his suitcase (with much reluctance) in the undercarriage of the train. When they arrive at the station, his suitcase is mysteriously gone.
The book then launches into 'present' day (fifty three years after the man lost his suitcase) and begins with Cady's story of being an orphan and baking cakes.
The next chapter hops to the owner of an Emporium of lost luggage who's talent appears to be floating about two inches above the ground; but by the end of the chapter we have a suspicion that his talent may be to steal other people's talents.
The third chapter spotlights Marigold who doesn't know what her talent is and is desperate to find out. She has two brothers; Zane and Will who are both talented. Zane is able to spit far distances and always hit his mark while Will's talent is a little more obscure as he is always able to become lost (but it seems from the way he speaks of it that he moves through walls). Their mother has a talent to knit and owns a yarn store.
The next chapter skips to V who we learn had a stoke while crossing a highway (was not injured besides the stroke) and that she lost a daughter (maybe not to death, we don't know yet, but lost all the same). She has no identification on her and has lost her ability to speak and interpret words.
The next chapter is Zane who we find out is in trouble at his school and is desperate for a way out of this trouble and he keeps coming back to what the principal told him; that he's WORTHLESS.
This all happens by page 36 (the book is roughly 230 pages long) and it all begins to weave the story of how everyone is interconnected.
It's a puzzle, a mystery, and yet a story of love and kinship.
It was a simply marvelous read.
I'm going to try a cake recipe from this book, maybe I'll post about my undoubtedly messy results. ;)