Pocket Forest by Kimberly Karalius

A broken ceramic deer and six degrees of separation.

About Pocket Forest by Kimberly Karalius: Since childhood, Harriet has dreamed of exploring forests with Stig Hemming, the boy lost to her in the frayed bonds of an old family friendship. Years later, in the wake of losing her mother, Harriet finally meets Stig only to discover a frightened young man clawing to regain a life no longer his. The darker parts of the forest beckon, where ghost-dogs patrol a crumbling boarding school and treasure, once lost, must be snatched back with bravery. This contemporary original fairy tale, complete with all the attendant comforts and threats, will pull you into the woodlands of the heart.

My two cents

This short tale is about the beauty of six degrees of separation of Stig Hemming and Harriet. Stig, who finds himself seemingly as an orphan at a private boy's school, suffers at the hands of a cruel and even a little odd-in-the-head headmaster. Stig escapes. Meanwhile, Harriet's family remembers the Hemming family and Harriet finds herself curious and strangely compelled to find Stig. A common thread: a forest, a ceramic deer with a broken ear ... and their paths finally cross. The unexplained things become explicable and two young lives are renewed.

This is very short, about 50 pages. First time I zoomed through this ... and I went "What?!!" I think I wasn't in quite the zone. Read it literally and it will annoy.

The second time around, I decided to take it slowly: read, absorb and reflect. I read in short bursts before going to bed.

What can I say about the beautiful simplicity of this a slim book? A fable-of-sorts, this has the whimsy of a fairytale but a dark menacing magical realism about it. It is replete with symbolism, and there are little nuggets to discover and ponder upon. I don't want to get into detailed themes but would love for you discover them yourself.

I also wanted to say that I love that this book was custom-made. The book's cover is made with handmade and printed paper (see coloured flowers on the side) and print runs are in limited numbers. It gives this book a sense of the intimate and the personal ... as if this were a book that could personally speak to you. And it can, if you let it. 

Verdict: This short tale will either annoy or get you pondering. Get into a good meditative mood and get transported into the magical world of forests, re-found treasures, and the happy coincidence of six degrees of separation. 

I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

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  1. Interesting. Wonder how I'd react to it...
    Book Dilettante

    1. Well you can see how I reacted in two different reads -- pretty extreme :) Now I'm curious what you'll think, Harvee!

  2. The six degrees of separation aspect appeals to me. Fab review.


© guiltless readingMaira Gall