Unshelled: A Tale of the Nutcracker by M. J. Neary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let's just start with the author, Marina Julia Neary. Her bio states she is "a self-centered, only child of classical musicians..." and that she is "notorious for her abrasive personality and politically incorrect views that make her a persona non grata in most polite circles...". So basically, she is who I want to be when I grow up. I thought I might like this book based on that alone but I was wrong. I enjoyed Unshelled for many more reasons.
I love the way Neary wrote this Nutcracker adaptation. When she has Marie actually speaking to the reader, she is punchy and playful; 'What's the matter? I see your eyebrows creeping upward. Do you have a problem with a German nurse reading articles in English?' Those exchanges help me bond with a character and I appreciate writers who use that tactic.
The themes in this novel are deep and dark but there is plenty of hope and light to appease the Pollyannas among us.
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