The author has created a mesmerising fantastical world, where people with magical powers treat them as something ordinary. Reading this book was the purest form of escapism, the characters’ worries and dreams being far from our everyday concerns. At the same time, every character represents a particular type of person we can easily meet nowadays. A dreamer whose needs are taken care of by a doting father. A young boy who doesn’t realise he has a gift, but who simply shares it with those around him. A conceited, self-centered privileged man, who has so much and still, craves for more. A wife, who did everything to force her husband to marry her, but after he did, started to unleash her disappointment and bitterness on him.
I liked the fairy tale tone of the story as much as I liked its characters being relatable.
Serena, the main character of the book, is both sweet and annoying in her naiveté. She loves to tell stories she sees in her head. Storytelling is a part of her, and she doesn’t question where those stories come from. She believes destiny has a beautiful life in store for her. But as it usually happens with dreamers, who let their imagination carry them too far from reality, she is about to encounter the harsh face of the world.
I found the book fascinating in many ways. On the one hand, just like her stories do with Serena, “Rum” has taken me away from my own reality into a completely different one. The one where people live simple lives, sewing their clothes and taking their grain to the mill for it to be made into flour. The one where life is laced with magic. On the other hand, I could relate to the characters’ choices and also understand why they had to deal with the consequences of their actions and decisions.
There are dark, unsettling themes in this book, just like in almost every fairy tale from our childhood. I am grateful to the author for giving me a unique opportunity to dive into the world of magic and fantasy and look at things I’d missed wandering through the enchanted forests on the book pages as a child.
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