17 October 2015

Book Review ~ Meditations in Wonderland, by Anna Patrick

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

A twenty-four-year-old interior designer living in New York finds herself down a rabbit hole that is far different from the one she remembers from her favourite childhood story. Guided by clues in Wonderland, Elizabeth comes face to face with her inner light and darkness, and, discovers that Alice's secret might be what she has been searching for all along.

This innovative debut novel from Anna Patrick lulls the reader into thinking they know how it will develop, before descending into the depths of Anna's vivid imagination. Dark and often surreal, I found myself drawn into the half-familiar world of Wonderland. 

A journey of self-discovery for the lead character Elizabeth, I liked the parallels with the original Alice in Wonderland and was intrigued to discover a page on Wikipedia which lists such a wealth of re-tellings, adaptations and even computer games one could be forgiven for thinking it has all been done before.

Anna Patrick has shown there is still plenty of mileage in the original story to inspire new works which bring fresh and contemporary perspectives to this timeless classic:  
As she held the letter in her wet palms she could feel the beating of her heart inside her chest. It hummed along with the sound of a distant clock, both emitting a beat like a war drum—a harsh reminder of her seclusion and that Alice was getting farther and farther away. She tore at the letter’s seams and extracted the folded paper inside, which read:
So, you want to see my world? Look around you. Honestly, did you really think that you were going to come and do a little sightseeing? There are no maps down here, but I’ll tell you what one would look like if such a thing existed. What you see around you is the white, tender underbelly of the subconscious. This is where all of the skeletons, ghosts, and demons hidden in your closet and up your sleeve come to tuck themselves in at night. And don’t think for a second that they’ll be easy to spot, because everyone wears a mask here. And you do, too, gorgeous, even if you don’t think so. I’m not the one who looks in the mirror and then quickly looks away.
In an author's note at the end if the book, Anna says, "As Carroll reminds us: 'Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.'”

I wonder what Lewis Carroll would say if he knew that quote (from the Cheshire Cat) was now popular as a tattoo, sold on T-shirts and is continuing to inspire new writers such as Anna Patrick?

(I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.)

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About the Author
Anna Patrick  was born and raised in Northern Virginia, and after living in three other cities during her college and post-grad years (New York City, Boston and London) she now lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Graduating from Boston College with a degree in communications, she also had the first draft of the manuscript that would become her first novel, Meditations In Wonderland. She is also the creator of a popular Tumblr under the same title. Now a full-time book publicist, Patrick lives in Northern Virginia with her boyfriend and their French bulldog. For more on Anna and the book, visit www.meditationsinwonderland.com. You can also find Anna on Twitter @loveannapatrick.

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