From the book jacket:
From the author of the award-winning Pale Highway and the radio play Something in the Nothing comes a short fantasy of love, shyness, and the secrets of human communication.
Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language. When Katie uncovers a miraculous secret inside the pages of her grandfather’s old journal, as well as an ancient key, she goes out into the woods in search of answers — hoping to uncover a mythical being that, if it exists, may just have the ability to grant wishes.
(Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this novelette from the author in exchange for an honest review.)
Clay Tongue shows a beautiful bond between Katie and her grandfather, even though they both struggle with verbalizing their feelings. Their similarities create literal unspoken secrets and I could feel their connection.
Having a family member who had similar side-effects from a stroke, I could sympathize with Katie’s mom. It is heartbreaking to see how much one event can change a person so greatly, but as family we stick by them no matter how hard things become.
While Clay Tongue was a bit predictable, I feel that if it was a full length novel this wouldn’t be the case. I would love to read a fuller, more developed storyline, but for this novelette everything was thoughtfully written and wonderfully descriptive.
I felt maybe as though Katie’s thoughts might have been too descriptive for her age, but then again, when you struggle verbalizing what are you left with but what you picture in your mind?
I generally don’t gravitate towards Fantasy-esque reads, so I’d like to thank the author, Nicholas Conley for reaching out and allowing me to read his work. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novelette.
My rating: ★★★★/5 Stars