I was intrigued by Ransom Riggs’ novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children right from the start. I think it was the cover that did it. And the unusually long title. And maybe even the font.
As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. It’s an interesting story, populated with curious characters and even curiouser photographs. (And who doesn’t love a book with pictures?) I tagged this book as “fantasy” even though I’m not entirely satisfied with that label. It seems to belong between labels. Fantasy, horror, magical realism, historical fiction. None of those labels actually fits, but then again that seems somehow appropriate given the “peculiar children” at the heart of this novel.
I guess Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has a little bit of something for everyone. There’s a love story, a monster, a mystery, a dysfunctional family, a shape shifter, and even some time travel. And the best part (for me) is that the story ends in a way most people would probably consider a “to be continued” ending…except I don’t think Riggs wrote this novel as Part I of anything. What this really means, and why I responded so well to it, is that this novel is all about the characters, their struggles, and their relationships with each other.
Riggs’ novel is an engaging and imaginative read. I enjoyed it, and I would definitely suggest it to others.
GOOD FOR: People seeking an imaginative story, anyone who loves old photographs, and readers who enjoy tales of the bizarre or inexplicable.
BAD FOR: Those who prefer strict realism, fans of tidy endings, and people who expect deep social commentary from their fiction.