This is the story of a young orphan girl who calls herself Momo. Who named her? Why, herself of course! What of her parents? That is a bit of a mystery...but the greater mystery is the discovery of her "secret power" because it's something that we all possess on some level, if we only put it to good use. That power....LISTENING.
Now, I don't mean simply hearing what's on the surface or skimming over the whole picture for the few scant details that will get you through the tale. I mean REALLY listening. No interruptions. Letting someone else's story unfold before your ears and allowing them to be really and truly heard. It's amazing the doors that kind of skill can open....and equally amazing those it can close shut before they are ever explored. Now, this skill of listening, this talent, this power was something that Momo possessed in spades. It was so overwhelmingly powerful that it lifted the dusty fog that the world tends to put around the hearts of those with good intentions. It allowed thoughts to flow, tongues to untie, creativity to blossom and hearts to flourish...at least until the gray men.
Who are they? Oh, no one of significance...and yet everyone all at once. They are the stealers of souls. They are the boogie men of the night that don't need shadows to hide behind....they are the shadows themselves. They are the faceless, nameless people you meet and yet can't quite remember. They are the answer to the question "where did the time go" and yet the riddle of it all at once. They are the gray men...and they mean business. A scarier lot you'll probably not meet, that is if you can remember them...
Aside from those mentioned, there is a colorful cast well worth knowing, especially Gigi and Beppo. They are hard to describe accurately but I'll give it a try in summary. Gigi....storyteller extraordinaire, at least in his heart of hearts. A finer person of his age would be hard to meet, even when he gets tangled up in the web of lackluster colors surrounding him. Beppo...may speak few words, but what does pass his lips are well worth noticing. He has a heart of gold and his actions speak volumes where his tongue dare not try. They are almost complete opposites but with Momo as their common denominator, they stand side by side like birds of a feather. A truly remarkable pair...and speaking of remarkable, there's another little gal that would be easy to overlook size wise but with purpose, intent, and heart taken into account, you can't help but see Cassiopeia like a shining beacon in the dark. Just who is she? You'll see...and don't be afraid to blink because you won't miss her if she says you won't. (^_^)
In conclusion, a book I started with questions in my eyes and ended with a special place for it on the bookshelf of my heart. It made an impression while giving you both an imaginative story to explore and a lesson that's really applicable to in today's run run run world. Of all the time saving tricks and tips we employ, where does the time saved go? Is it stored away for a rainy day? Do you get coupon to redeem it at your convenience? Nope. It comes in the same increments each and every day and it's up to us to make the most of it while we can. It doesn't mean filling every second with business or pleasure. It doesn't mean being Mr/Mrs Responsible 24/7 or cutting loose all the time either. It means striking a path down the middle road and making your way in the world the best way you know how. It means not letting life pass you by because it may sound cliche, but often times, the best things in life ARE free....free minds, free hearts, free will. There's a lot of free to go around, if you'll only take the time....
ARC and finished copy courtesy of McSweeney's McMullens. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their growing catalog, visit the store over at the publisher's site, like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter. This title was released earlier this year and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you. Recommended for young adult readers and beyond.
Until next time...happy reading!