Jane Rosenberg LaForge is an original and powerfully written reworking of the Grimm's fairy tale Bearskin. The novel departs from the fairy tale in a lot of ways, and not having any prior knowledge of the earlier fable doesn't detract in any way from this novel.
The author is a poet and it shines through in the exquisite use of language. Most of the prose in the book is transcendent and very 'painterly'. It's a fantasy, but grounded in reality. I wouldn't call it magical realism, exactly (with the exception of one passage, which seemed written to indicate that it was metaphorical, not literal).
The book is beautifully written and poignant. I haven't often been touched as deeply or felt as attached as I did to the characters in The Hawkman. It's a book about the casualties (both literal and figurative) of the first world war, so much of the book was brutal and sad. I found the redemptive themes of love and kindness and humanity had even more impact when presented in contrast. It's been several weeks since I finished reading the book and I still find myself thinking about it often.
It's a really beautiful, lush, gorgeously written novel.
Due out 5th June, 2018 from Amberjack publishing. 280 pages in paperback and ebook formats.
Disclosure: I received an electronic-ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.