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Month in review

Reviews
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and, Emily Jenkins
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria J. Coe
The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Noragami: Stray God Volume 4 by Adachitoka
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 2: The Pilgrimage by Tim Hedrick
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Miscellaneous
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 05)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 12) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 19)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 26)
January 2018 Sources
January 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Gender in Ozma of Oz
The Splendid Dystopia in the Marvelous Land of Oz
Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George: 02/07/18

A road narrative analysis of Tuesdays at the Castle

Now that the series is complete, I've decided to revisit the books, but this time as audiobooks. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is the start of the Castle Glower series. Like the Greenglass House, Castle Glower is a building that is hard to map. Where the Greenglass House does it through confusion or distraction, the castle does it by changing (and usually on a Tuesday).

The current royal family takes the castle's changeability as a matter of fact. It is what is and it always has been. The castle not only changes on its own whims but it also selects the next king by how it configures the rooms. While the king and queen are gone to take their eldest son to the wizard school, Celie and her brother (and crown prince, if the castle is to be believed) are left behind with servants and advisors and visiting dignitaries.

What I missed the first time around was the importance of the castle's configuration. Celie insists that her parents and brother are alive from the moment news gets through that they were attacked on the road. The evidence is in the castle and how it refuses to reconfigure itself to acknowledge a new king. Castle Glower is labyrinthine but it is also capable of customizing its experience to everyone within its walls. If it likes you, you will regularly find the shortest path. If it doesn't, your room may end up drafty and suddenly next to the privies.

In this regard, Castle Glower is like the home in House of Leaves. The royal family, though, being in tune with the castle and accepting of its influence over their lives, don't find the changeability of their home a threat. The castle may grow or rearrange rooms to its heart's content, but they aren't afraid of what that means or of what could happen the next time it reorders itself.

Celie, throughout Tuesdays in the Castle is the one person who can read the castle and can keep an accurate blueprint of it. Her atlas as she calls it is as flexible as the derrotero of the Skidwrack in Ghosts of Greenglass House.

That is until the final third of the book when Celie, her sister and brother are clearly in danger not from the castle, but from the guests. Both as a method to protect them and as a result of being attacked magically, the castle begins to turn on the family. Passages that once were available, no longer are. And safe havens become traps.

In most stories I've read where a house (or other structure) is able to change, that ability is seen as sinister from the very get go. Or even if it were first treated as a novelty or an amusement, as soon as things start to go wrong, the unreliable space is seen as evil and as something that needs to be destroyed or escaped from. Castle Glower, though, is trusted throughout the order and when the castle itself is apparently neutralized, is mourned as a recently deceased loved one.

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