Mr Splitfoot is a book I picked up thanks to dear Andi giving it the gushing treatment on Twitter. I immediately got on the list for it for the library. For the record, here is Andi's review.
This is a book that as soon as you read it you want to read it again, because now with the information/answers you (think) you have you want to let it wash over you again with new eyes.What I think I like most about this book is that I kind of thought that I had an idea where this book was going. I was wrong. I love being proved wrong.
We've got two storylines going at the same time here.
In the past time line we find out about some poor children living in Christ's Love! foster home. Foster home is putting it in an unjustly nice light. It's a cult that is populated by poor children who are in the foster system who have been hand selected by "Father". Ruth and Nat are two of these children. They help protect each other and are inseparable, thinking of each other as siblings. Nat, and later Ruth, develop an ability to talk to the dead which ends up being their ticket out of Christ's Love! Nat, Ruth and Mr Bell, the one who helps them escape, start traveling around and putting on séance type readings for grieving people. This doesn't always end well. One time it ends really, really scarily, because there's a guy with no nose. ICK.
In the present time line, Ruth's niece Cora is finding herself in a weird crossroads of her life. She is newly pregnant (by a PSYCHO) when Ruth shows up at her house one day. Cora remembers seeing Ruth as a young girl, and Cora thought she was vivacious and full of light. Now when Cora sees her she seems deflated and sad and Ruth wordlessly begs Cora to come with her. What follow is a long, on foot journey where Ruth never says a word.
This book gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. I love the weirdness. I love the option of magical realism. I like that despite the totally horrible things that happen in this book there is some hope at the end. I love, for some reason, when the Devil shows up in books (or does he?!), see this post. Not that I would have done it anyway but I will now NEVER snort home cleaning products.