A captivating YA read, sparkling with starlight and magical realism, a tough and unmistakably tender heroine, an existential quest, and a whole townfull of lost and lovely souls.
Welcome to Hadley, Arizona.
Belutha, our main protagonist, is sixteen years old, a social misfit and an “invisible girl”, who is unjustly saddled with Maybell, (her “wacky” and promiscuous mother), two needy half-siblings, and a prickly attitude she wears like a coat-of-armor.
Our story begins when a mysterious stranger suddenly and silently rolls into town. Improbably named “Bill Bill”, and possessed of a strange (and not at all off-putting) mixture of innocence and awkwardness, it’s clear that Bill is as out of place in Maybell’s diner as he may be in its planetary host.
Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here), Belutha’s story, as laid out in these pages, and as we learn, as told to her in its entirety by the no-longer-a-stranger Bill, is an absolute delight – guaranteed to entertain and enthrall young adults, and pretty much any adult, who loves to read.
A whimsical tale of being and something-ness, of mystery and magic and the greatness of all we do not, and cannot, know – the big questions, the alone-in-the-night terrible ones – the questions concerning our earthly “self” origins and inevitably, our eternal and eventual body-less destinations.
I loved this book – an uplifting and utterly mesmerizing tale combining the fantastical world as seen in the works of Ray Bradbury, ( such a nostalgic favorite!), with the neighborhood characterizations so gracefully reminiscent of the best of the wonderful Anne Tyler.
My stop today on the @rrbooktours #blogtour for #theManWhoCameAndWent by @joestillman
A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book.All thoughts presented are my own.