Apollo Kagwa grew up without a dad and now that he's a brand new father himself, he is determined to be there for every second of his son's life. Every second, that is, until his wife suddenly, crazily, gets it into her head that their baby is not their baby at all, but something else entirely. Apollo thinks she's out of her mind with lack of sleep and overwhelming responsibility, but is she really? If so, who keeps sending her pictures of their baby on her cell phone? Then again, the pictures keep "disappearing" from her phone after she sees them, so maybe she's out of her mind after all? You'll have to read The Changeling to find out!
Victor LaValle is able to weave together myths and legends, make them believable, (for the most part), and then sets them down in the middle of New York City. It turns out the Big Apple does have some mystery and wilderness left in it, and Victor treats it all like his own personal playground. I felt like the city was a character in this story-with all of its history, hopes, dreams and death-the layers are all there. By the time the end of the story came around, I wished I could reach out and hug it-it had seen so much.
One other thing about the writing that I wanted to mention was the author's ability to reach over and squeeze the life out of the reader's heart. Apollo's grief was so palpable at times, that I had to set aside the book because my chest hurt-my heart hurt. I generally consider my horror loving heart to be quite cold, but The Changeling proved me wrong.
I'm sure at this point, just over halfway through 2017, that this book will be on my "BEST OF" list at the end of the year. If you find yourself looking for a satisfying story that combines myth and legend with the grit of real life in the modern world, I say pick up this book and let yourself fall under Victor LaValle's spell. You won't regret it!
You can get your copy here: The Changeling: A Novel
*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*