Thursday, May 08, 2008

Coraline


First sentence: Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.

I can’t stop reading Neil Gaiman and I know I will not be disappointed when I read Coraline. It may be a story for children but it doesn’t matter, does it? I have totally enjoyed this one.

Coraline is a little girl who lives with her parents in a huge old house together with other people who share the same house. These people are two old former actresses named Miss Spink and Miss Forcible who own three dogs, and an old man whom Coraline calls ‘the crazy old man’. She loves to explore her surroundings. Her parents usually don’t bother with her and very often, she feels bored. One day, while she explores the house, she stumbles into a locked door in the drawing room. With the help of her mother, she opens the door but only to find a brick wall. Her mother explains why that is so. Still, she is curious and later she tries again to open it by herself and this time, lo and behold, the brick wall is no longer there!

Gaiman takes readers into an adventure – a dark and strange adventure – where Coraline finds herself in another place that looks very much like her home. There she meets her other mother and other father. Her other mother who sounds almost like her real mother looks strange with black buttons as eyes; her other features are quite eerie too. Her other mother wants her to stay there forever and promises to love her. Even the food she cooks for Coraline tastes much better than back home. For a moment, Coraline seems to be enjoying herself with all the attention lavished on her.

Later, Coraline discovers that her real parents are trapped and more than that, she also finds the souls of three other children trapped too. The courageous girl then begins plotting on how to rescue her parents and helps to find the souls of the three children. Thank goodness she’s not alone in this arduous task for there is a black cat that helps her. Remember Miss Spink and Miss Forcible? They too have helped her by giving her something before all of that happened, when they read Coraline’s future using tea leaves in one of Coraline’s visits to them.

This is an interesting read and definitely a creepy one. I don’t know what I would do if I were Coraline. Would I be so courageous in putting my fears aside and face evil head on? The story will make us appreciate our loved ones and what we have. Not forgetting also the illustrations by Dave McKean which definitely helps to visualise the story. I say read this and be spooked and charmed at the same time!