Title: The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story
Author: Theodora Goss
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Evelyn Morgan is visiting Cornwall when she meets Brendan Thorne in a small village bookstore. They immediately forge a connection that spans many years and different continents in this unexpected love story.
The Thorn and the Blossom is an incredibly unique book – it’s actually a two-sided novel. It comes in a beautiful case, and when you slip it out, it has a front and back cover like any other book. However, the binding is what makes this book so different. It’s an accordion format, with Evelyn’s story printed on one side and Brendan’s printed on the other. Readers can choose whose tale to start with, as each narrative is a version of the same story. I love thoughtfully constructed books, so this was a real treat for me. Admittedly the book isn’t the easiest to hold, but it’s not a long read, so it works well.
The plot of The Thorn and the Blossom is a bit thin, but it was a treat for me. Evelyn and Brendan are both medieval scholars studying The Book of the Green Knight, a variation on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which I recently read. I loved this perfect timing. While it’s not necessary to be familiar with the Green Knight legend prior to reading this book, it gives the book an added depth and dimension for those who are. It’s a short book, so it will definitely keep your attention, but an intricate, plot-driven read it is not. Instead, it’s a simple and sweet novel.
Overall, The Thorn and the Blossom was a real treat, something different than the traditional books one usually reads. It’s not a book I’d choose to read electronically, as the charm of the book is in its unique construction. Without that, I think readers would be left wanting. With it, it’s a great choice for a gift for the book lover in your life.