The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
(Harper, 2014, 237 pages)
I picked this up after Sadie read it. I remember when I asked her about it she wasn’t sure how to really describe it to me and I understand why now. The “enchanted” world referred to in this novel is a small prison. Told from the perspective of a prisoner on death row we learn the stories of a death row inmate who WANTS to die, the investigator tasked with keeping him from being killed, a priest who has left the church, a warden who wants to do the right thing, and then we get glimpses into the life of our protagonist.
If this book were to have a color for how it makes you feel, that color would definitely be gray. There’s no question the book is intriguing but it just makes you feel gloomy while you’re reading and trying to figure out where the story’s going to go. In the midst of the darkness there are bright elements that Denfeld highlights – acts of kindness, attempts at love, and the desire to combat evil.
An interesting read. I wouldn’t pick it up if you’re looking for something that will make you feel good. But if you’re looking for something different, this will offer it to you.