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Thistlefoot: A Novel av GennaRose Nethercott
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Thistlefoot: A Novel (urspr publ 2022; utgåvan 2022)

av GennaRose Nethercott (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7531829,325 (3.91)14
"The Yaga siblings--Bellatine, a young woodworker, and Isaac, a wayfaring street performer and con artist--have been estranged since childhood, separated both by resentment and by wide miles of American highway. But when they learn that they are to receive a mysterious inheritance, the siblings are reunited--only to discover that their bequest isn't land or money, but something far stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs. Thistlefoot, as the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas' ancestral home in Russia--but not alone. A sinister figure known only as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him violent secrets from the past: fiery memories that have hidden in Isaac and Bellatine's blood for generations. As the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on a final cross-country tour of their family's traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. Ultimately, time, magic, and legacy must collide--erupting in a powerful conflagration to determine who gets to remember the past and craft a new future"--… (mer)
Medlem:CaseyBeck
Titel:Thistlefoot: A Novel
Författare:GennaRose Nethercott (Författare)
Info:Anchor (2022), 448 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Thistlefoot av GennaRose Nethercott (2022)

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» Se även 14 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 18 (nästa | visa alla)
As the cover of this genre-defying novel suggests, Thistlefoot is about a house with chicken feet and a garden on its roof. But it is much more than that: it is about preserving the memories of those history has erased, a fairy tale, modern folklore woven with old Russian-Jewish folklore, family. The modern day, American siblings at the center of this tale are descendants of Russian Jews who escaped the pogrom that wiped their shtetl from the map, carrying the genetic memory of the unspeakable things done to people they knew or that they did themselves in the face of so much evil. The novel is inspired by the Baba Yaga tale: a witch who lives in the woods of Eastern Europe in a house that stands on chicken legs – that tale is woven through the novel told from the house, Thistlefoot’s, perspective. But it is also revealed through the modern-day Yaga siblings, through the memory of suffering passed down in their genes, which animate extraordinary abilities, or curses.

Ms. Nethercott’s writing is beautiful and she crafted many memorable passages containing astute observations about life. I felt some characters were a little puzzling in the way they were manifested, but overall, this strange, tragic, wonderful book was compelling from the first page to the last.
( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
I DNFd this book at the 68% mark and here's why:
Ok... well, please hold off on the lynching until I finish explaining. On the one hand the premise had tons of potential... potential for days and days, in fact it was so promising that I kept coming back to it again and again hoping it just needed some more of my time... NOPE... it just slogged on and I dreaded each time I chose to come back to it. I even bought it on Audible hoping a fresh voice would help this magical tale ensnare me but alas, it was not meant to be. C’est la vie,

Now, on the other hand, I'm not saying that the writing was terrible... it was... nice. It was decent EXCEPT it was also blatantly, unapologetically, savagely, overtly descriptive AND then there was Isaac... Isaac was tough to like and not in that misunderstood, morally gray, relateable underdog/antihero kind of way. He just rubbed me the wrong way and I wanted to skip over his parts... skimming urges are a surefire sign of a laggy, boring, faltering read. Dreading spending time doing my favorite activity is no bueno so it left me with little choice. You'd think that a book about Baba Yaga's decendants would be chock full of Baba Yaga or at least a comprehensive magic system that's explained. Whelp, nope, not here. With how descriptive everything else was, you'd think that EVERYTHING would be explained, and maybe it was explained in the last 32% of the book, but I think I gave it the good old college try.

This was a chaotic read. There were multiple POVs, and they jumped around without warning or preamble. I relied on picking up clues/names in order to discern who's voice I was listening to. AND for a book populated with characters possessing magic, they sure were flat. Now, I think that Bellatine did save the tale (as much as it could be rescued from itself). If the book had cut out the insane amount of descriptives and been only about Bellatine and this chicken leg facilitated mobile home, I think I would have been able to finish. I did like how the book highlighted the plight of the Jews and some of the antisemitic discrimination that they unbelievably/tragically still experience even until this very day.

On to the World... the world building (minus the descriptive overload) was decent. It's just hard to get fully immersed in a book that devotes chapters to mundane things... how much time do you expect us to devote to hearing about (chapter's worth of) Bellatine's hands... no action, no anything... just descriptions about hands albeit magical hands but hands nonetheless.

Overall:
I know I'm in the minority here, but decent writing, okay world building, and a noncapitalized upon (yet interesting) premise weren't enough to snatch and hold onto my attention thus the DNF and the low rating. I feel slightly guilty not finishing this book especially since I was so graciously given a copy of it to read for free but I even bought the audiobook so I can say, with a (mostly) clear conscience that I tried... I really did.

~ Sorry

*** I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. *** ( )
  BethYacoub | Sep 12, 2023 |
3 and a half stars. this book is ambitious, trying to fold in Baba Yaga fairy tales with hobo narratives, crossed with dybbuk horror tales arising out of Russian historical pogroms. but the author (to use one of her own metaphors) can't quite make all the wooden parts join together into a coherent narrative without using nails to force everything to fit. it's also very unevenly written, with way too much explained that needn't be, in both the story and the line-by-line writing, and too many characters that don't really come alive enough to care about them. in the end, for me it just didn't work. i applaud the ambition (extra half a star for that), but i kept having to talk myself into finishing it. ( )
  macha | Aug 16, 2023 |
This book packs such an emotional punch and had me sobbing through the last few chapters.

It is a Baba Yaga origin story that follows two of her descendants, Isaac and Bellatine. We get flashback chapters from the perspective of Baba Yaga's house, which were my favorite parts! This is a modern fantasy novel that manages to seamlessly weave in historical aspects of early 20th century Russia.

It covers some heavy topics-the pogroms in the Russian Empire are a major plot point. It also deals with self-hate and accepting yourself.

This book gave me strong The Diviners vibes and I would recommend it to anyone who has read and loved that series. ( )
  LynnMPK | Jun 27, 2023 |
“What is memory if not a ghost?”

It starts with estranged siblings, a magical house with chicken legs, and puppets; it ends with burgeoning love, a newfound home, and more puppets. And in between? In between is a journey across America and back through time, to explore themes of immigration, inner magic, and the remnant ghosts of time and memory. It all starts when the Yaga siblings, Bellatine and Isaac, inherit their maternal great grandmother’s house from Ukraine - which they soon discover is far more than just a house. Not only is the house that of the mythical Baba Yaga (one of my favourite folkloric characters), but it is the last living remnant of a historical event that was so brutal that it is still causing ripples in time. As in all good folk tales, the Yagas don’t get possession of the house without some complications. Not only are they plagued with the foibles of their own hereditary magical powers (the ability to shapechange for Isaac and the bringing the inanimate alive for Bellatine), which cause problems in their every day lives, but as they set out to tour their family puppet show across America their real foe is revealed. The Longshadow man is a memory brought to life by the same events that woke the Yaga house (aka Thistlefoot), and like his forebears he is bent on erasing any trace of the community that used to play home to the Yagas and their Jewish neighbours. The story is a rollicking adventure, but Nethercott artfully weaves Jewish folklore and European history throughout to create a mythical tale that treads a unique border between the reality that is and the reality that could have been. Like the stories of Baba Yaga herself, this story is a dark reckoning with memory that walks Thistlefoot out of an idyllic future and into a place of truthful remembering - even if we are never quite sure we have the full story. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Jun 20, 2023 |
Visa 1-5 av 18 (nästa | visa alla)
Steeped in the ancient tropes of folk tales and animated by a passionate belief in the vital role of storytelling, GennaRose Nethercott’s first novel builds on her work as a folklorist and poet. “Thistlefoot” updates the classic Slavic tale of Baba Yaga, a ferocious old woman who lives deep in the forest in a house standing on chicken legs. In Nethercott’s version, the building has been bequeathed to contemporary American siblings Bellatine and Isaac Yaga by their great-great-grandmother...There’s a lot of dense plotting to absorb while Thistlefoot fills us in about Baba Yaga and the grim fate of the shtetl’s Jewish inhabitants, in counterpoint with Isaac and Bellatine struggling through their own painful memories. The text is stuffed, perhaps overstuffed, with Nethercott’s thoughts on everything from antisemitism and class prejudice to the nature of identity and the mixed blessing of belonging to a community. Through it all, her central concern is how we preserve and understand the past through the stories we tell.... “Thistlefoot” is by no means a perfect novel, but it is something almost better: a book with so much on its mind that it bursts its seams to sprawl across genres and forms. Nethercott explores more ideas than her plot can comfortably contain, but serious readers will appreciate her ambition and commitment.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraWashington Post, Wendy Smith (betalvägg) (Sep 27, 2022)
 
Part ghost story, part font of wisdom, this gorgeously written novel takes a fantastical romp while cautioning readers to remember the violence and inequity of the past—even when forgetting seems preferable....With echoes of Isaac Bashevis Singer and Sholem Aleichem, as well as Buddhist and Christian overtones, the Yagas unearth their past. They learn they come from people who dreamed and believed, who brought with them to America “languages, folded into the suitcases of their tongues.” They realize they must tell the story of Gedenkrovka, Russia, where a pogrom destroyed its Jewish inhabitants. Despite its serious subject matter, this novel contains delights on every page. The author displays a capacious imagination, providing an entertaining, colorful read while grappling with subjects of utmost importance to today’s turbulent world. This book blooms from a fairy tale to a panoptic story that defies space and time, brimming with creativity, wisdom, and love.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraKirkus Reviews (Jul 12, 2022)
 
Nethercott’s dark, difficult fiction debut (after the poetry collection The Lumberjack’s Dove) offers a heartbreaking reinterpretation of the myth of Baba Yaga.... Nethercott’s ambitious attempt to write the next American Gods falters in its handling of evil. The characters themselves point out that the villain talks like a Nazi from an Indiana Jones movie, which cheapens the examination of racism and mob mentality—especially in the context of depictions of horrific antisemtism witnessed by the house (including a graphic infant murder in a Russian pogrom). Still, fans of thorny, contemporary retellings of folklore will appreciate Nethercott’s take on the theme of inherited trauma.
tillagd av Lemeritus | ändraPublisher's Weekly (May 26, 2022)
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
GennaRose Nethercottprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Nethercott, Gennarosehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Nethercott, Gennarosehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Abrams, MarkOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Clinch, ShastaCopy editormedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Dezsö, AndreaOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
LaVoy, JanuaryBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Random House AudioPublishermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rosen, LynProofreadermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Weinberg, RimaProofreadermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Zucker, ChristopherFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Behold: Kali Tragus, the Russian thistle. A bushly lump of plant, green flowers vanishing into green leaves. Its stem, striped red and violent as a bruised wrist. The leaves are lined with spikes, sharp like stitching needles. You are advised to wear gloves when handling it, if you must handle it at all. Should the thorns prick you, pretend you don't feel it. It doesn't do any good to gripe in times like these. There are worse wounds to be hand than a thistle prick. Much, much worse. -Prologue
"Welcome, my ultimate babes, you thieves and lovers, to the greatest spectacle this side of the Mississippi!" -Chapter 1
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"The Yaga siblings--Bellatine, a young woodworker, and Isaac, a wayfaring street performer and con artist--have been estranged since childhood, separated both by resentment and by wide miles of American highway. But when they learn that they are to receive a mysterious inheritance, the siblings are reunited--only to discover that their bequest isn't land or money, but something far stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs. Thistlefoot, as the house is called, has arrived from the Yagas' ancestral home in Russia--but not alone. A sinister figure known only as the Longshadow Man has tracked it to American shores, bearing with him violent secrets from the past: fiery memories that have hidden in Isaac and Bellatine's blood for generations. As the Yaga siblings embark with Thistlefoot on a final cross-country tour of their family's traveling theater show, the Longshadow Man follows in relentless pursuit, seeding destruction in his wake. Ultimately, time, magic, and legacy must collide--erupting in a powerful conflagration to determine who gets to remember the past and craft a new future"--

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