Saturday, February 27, 2016
The Nest, by Kenneth Oppel
But now there is a new baby in the house, and the baby is sick. Steve's parents are back and forth to the hospital everyday. There are big words being bandied about. Words like congenital and degenerative.
Soon Steve starts having dreams that are at once alarming and soothing. He dreams of an angel in wasp form who promises to "fix" the baby. Each time Steve dreams he is transported to a gauzy nest, of sorts. This angel soothes Steve into believing that fixing the baby is possible. She demands that Steve offer her a word that would allow her to move on with the new baby. Steve remembers that Dr. Brown has told him that dreams just are that -- and they have no power over him. So he utters the word. Yes.
But not all dreams stay in the slumbering world, and soon the wasp nest that has been growing under the eaves outside of the baby's room, takes on a much more menacing air. Steve's worries are now compounded, and as he worries about being crazy he must decide how to best save the baby from the events that have their genesis in his dreams.
Oppel has created a mesmerizing modern fairy tale that has a menacing feel but is buoyed up by hope. The Nest is the kind of book that is best consumed in one gulp. I find myself distracted by the thought of it as time goes on.