Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com
Cathy has been reading Clay Tongue by Nicholas Conley
Clay Tongue is a moving story of a little girl’s belief, determination and courage. Young Katie Mirowitz is a quiet, shy child, except when she’s with her Grandfather. Katie loves talking to him, even now when he can’t form coherent words anymore after his stroke, they always manage to communicate one way or another. But Grandfather is keeping a secret, Katie saw him trying to hide his journal. The knowledge gives her an unfamiliar, and not altogether comfortable, feeling in her heart.
When a nightmare wakes Katie in the middle of the night, she overhears an emotional exchange between her mother and Grandfather. It seems her Grandfather may not be able to live with the family much longer. Katie waits until the coast is clear and sneaks a peek at her Grandfather’s desk, finding the journal and an old iron key. She sees that her Grandfather has written a description of his experience, when he was much younger, of meeting a golem who had the power to grant wishes.
A delightfully touching story of unconditional love and selflessness, told from Katie’s perspective in the third person. Nicholas Conley portrays Katie, her naturalness and strong, loving relationship with her grandfather, extremely well and sympathetically. The characters are wonderfully defined and very believable, giving an immediate sense of who they are and their feelings. I found myself really caring about them and hoping the situation would be resolved.
The writing is wonderful, sympathetic and effective in conveying anxiety and distress, the fragility and poignancy of the situation they all find themselves in. Descriptive phrasing evokes strong images. I enjoyed the inventiveness of the story very much, and the way the golem’s human characteristics are represented. I love the cover image which is almost ethereal, in keeping with the story. And, of course, the resolution.
From the author of the award-winning Pale Highway and the radio play Something in the Nothing comes a short fantasy of love, shyness, and the secrets of human communication.
Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language. When Katie uncovers a miraculous secret inside the pages of her grandfather’s old journal, as well as an ancient key, she goes out into the woods in search of answers — hoping to uncover a mythical being that, if it exists, may just have the ability to grant wishes.
About the author
Nicholas Conley is a novelist, world traveler, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His passion for storytelling is evident in Clay Tongue as well a Pale Highway, the winner of the 2015 Predators & Editors Award for Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel. He has written for Vox, Truthout, The Huffington Post, SFFWorld, and Alzheimers.net, and his original radio play Something in the Nothing was performed live on the radio station WSCA 106.1 FM in 2016. He is a member of PEN America, the writers organization dedicated to human rights and freedom of expression.