A Corner of White (Colours of Madeleince #1)
by Jacyln Moriarty
The first in a rousing, funny, genre-busting trilogy from bestseller Jaclyn Moriarty!
This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).
Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot’s dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn’t appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called “color storms;” a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the “Butterfly Child,” whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses..
This was a pleasantly surprising book. There was just this quirky and fantastical air about it that drew me in and made it so interesting. Both characters are very different from any that you will encounter and the world they live in are so intertwined yet separate. It’s definitely a mesmerising novel. Plus Markus Zusak blurbed it and that guy knows what he’s saying.
One downside that I’ll quickly mention is the two main characters, Elliot and Madeleine. Whilst they are both amazingly vivid and original characters, they both came across as very egotistical and self centred. Madeleine is always reminiscing about her previously rich high life and the fact that this ‘poor’ life is boring her. It also always seems like she think she’s superior to her new friends. Elliot on the other hand is the village’s star boy. His girlfriend doesn’t seem like much to him and he’s always so dismissive of the fact that he’s pretty much perfect. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like them very much if they existed in real life.
Back to a positive note. The Kingdom of Cello is seriously the most original setting ever! I’m imaging the Elliot’s town of Bonfire to be this small, country town where everyone knows each other. But the world is much larger than that. There’s mention of cities that are so high tech whilst there are other like Bonfire where the technology is still rudimentary. Moriarty also creates these ‘colours’ which can attack an area but each hue has a rank at which is the most dangerous. At the same time, the world we know also exists. I imagine it as parallel worlds next to each other and a crack so happen to appears which allow both our characters to correspond. I liked how there was some sort of science involved in both the worlds but at the same time, I wish there was more so we could understand more on how the two worlds link.
Moriarty’s world is so sophisticated and vivid that you actually cannot stop yourself to keep on reading. The writing is also very different but lyrical at the same time. She uses a 3rd person omniscient narration to make us feel like we are connected to every character.
Summing up, a very memorable and mesmerising read with an original setting combined with interesting characters. It’s a fun, quirky read that you’ll definitely find yourself enjoying.