The Hole in the Wall by Lisa Rowe Fraustino ended up being a very challenging read for me. I enjoyed it right from the beginning but the story began to lose my interest as it continued. This was unfortunate because it seemed to be written in a style that I enjoyed but the book lacked a driving force that pushed me through the book. The hardest part was the more I got into the book the less interested I became. I kept thinking I was just going through a bit of a rough patch and the story would pick up. But I became more and more disconnected with the events of the story. Nothing felt pressing or relevant.
This was by no means a horrible book, it just didn’t connect with me. It has some unique elements, interesting storytelling, and a strong voice. The story opens with a young boy sitting in his special place in the world. A hideaway he called the hole in the wall. The boy is seeing some beautiful, vivid colors swirling around him. The image is striking and compelling. The rest of the story could not evoke the same level of interest from me.
Summary from NetGalley:
Eleven-year-old Sebby has found the perfect escape from his crummy house and
bickering family: The Hole in the Wall. It’s a pristine, beautiful glen in the midst of a
devastated mining area behind Sebby’s home. But it’s not long after he’s found it that
his world starts falling apart: His family’s chickens disappear, colors start jumping off
the wall and coming to life, and after sneaking a taste of raw cookie dough he finds
himself with the mother of all stomachaches.
I read this book hoping that it would have dystopian elements. And maybe there were some dystopic themes, maybe in the vein of Holes. The story is based on control and lies, but the themes get muddled with so many other details. There was a lot going on and a lot of characters passing in and out, You could classify it as a big adventure. And if I were a kid and this story happened to me it would feel pretty grand.
At the end of the day I am not really sure what genre this story falls into and maybe that is part of the problem I had with it. It didn’t feel like it was grounded in any one thing. What I can say about The Hole in the Wall is that is a unique book, if you are looking for something different than what you have read before, this would be a good choice.