letter one to gioia: white paint and oddities

my dearest gioia,

hi. hello. (it’s me.) it’s strange, writing to you in such a public manner. not necessarily a bad kind of strange, but strange nonetheless…

how have you been? i hope you’re not getting too bored of switzerland, with its non-existant britishness. and basel, a village compared to what you now call your hometown. you’ll be leaving in a few days (where did the precious time go?!) and we’ll be miles apart once more, something that i have yet to get used to (and probably never will). anyway, there’s really not much to tell about the past week. uni kept me busy for most of it and you were partly there for the rest of it.

the freshly painted kitchen and bedroom walls are making me more happy than i ever though paint could make me, as are the newly white kitchen cupboards. in fact, i’ve already (almost) forgotten they were once brown and bright green. but before i go on and on about paint and white walls, let’s move on to the actual subject of this post – the first three chapters of ‘the museum of extraordinary things’.

in short: so far, so good. but you’ll want more than that, am i right? but honestly, i’ve enjoyed reading our first choice, it’s as simple as that. from the way hoffman uses her words (asparkle? how magical is that?) to the story she’s telling, it’s been right up my alley. maybe it’s the constant rain outside or that it still gets dark so early, but whatever it is, the dark and somewhat eerie atmosphere of the book really speaks to me. there’s coralie, who is still a bit of a mystery to me; i’m constantly asking myself what decisions she’ll make in the pages to come. and then of course there’s eddie. oh, eddie. such an intriguing persona. the dark, brooding prodigal son who flees into the forest to become a photographer? i like him, i really do. and i’m curious to see what he’s hiding under that external roughness.

isn’t it all so ‘love never dies’, though? i’m constantly reminded of erik, madame giry, meg and their phantasma on coney island, especially whenever there’s talk of oddities. that’s definitely part of the magic of the book for me. in addition to  wanting to find out what happens to both coralie and eddie, i’m fascinated by everything that’s happening outside of the main story, which has yet to be uncovered itself. be it the whole world of coney island or the atmosphere of new york at the start of the century, i think hoffman chose the perfect setting for her story.

i know we wanted a different book originally, but to be honest, i’m quite glad we were forced to read this one instead!

in anticipation of your thoughts on this first part,




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