Forever After’ is ‘a dimensional love story’ as the title indicates. It does not fit in well with any standard genres. It has romance, but a very special kind, it has fantasy (and even dragons, but that’s in the story within the story), has an ecological theme, is a fairy tale, a parable…More than anything, ‘Forever After’ is a triumph of imagination.
Mary Meddlemore is the name of the main character in the novel, and that proves how powerful a grip over the author’s imagination she obtained, that she insisted on writing the story herself. There is a story dimension in the novel, and a reality dimension, and we discover that although Mary lives in the reality dimension (the reality of the novel) she belongs in the story dimension. The fact that she has a little lamb (love Miss Lamb) and that neither she nor her lamb ever grow older should have been a clue. As her name indicates she meddles, trying to bring together two people who are made to love each other but unfortunately live in different dimensions. Andrew and Jenny can’t believe Mary’s explanations but…
The main characters are endearing, lovable and original. A boy with a dragon suit who grows into a lawyer defending good causes. A girl who managed to save a town with the help of a teacher (I also love Hannah) and a dragon (Abibus). And Mary…And Miss Lamb, of course. But even character with small parts are unforgettable: The Flower warrior, the Dragon Crier, Hannah, even the waiter at the restaurant obsessed with ‘The Suit’ and providing perfect sugar cubes…Charlie Kaufman would feel quite at home with this story that like many of his scripts explores the boundaries between reality and fiction and celebrates the power of stories and imagination. Like in ‘Enchanted’ fairy tales and reality mix with wonderful results.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Anybody who loves books, writing and stories will like this book. On the other hand if you think that reality is superior to fiction and material things more important than imagination, maybe you won’t.
I have read the author’s collection of short stories ‘The Seventh Sheep’ and adored it. I follow her blog (http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com) and I am aware that she’s working on a sequel of Forever. I can’t wait and in the meantime plan to read ‘In the Reign of the Ilev’ too.