I went home a couple of weeks ago and to my horror I realised that I hadn’t packed a book for a three hour train trip! So I dived into Waterstones and picked up this book mostly due to the intriguingly sombre little girl on the front cover.
I had been aware of Miss Peregrine’s before but what made me pick it up this time was that I read a sentence describing it as being packed with “found photographs”. That idea really appealed to me because I love the opportunity to get an insight into other lives that is afforded by these discarded photographs. I find pictures of my own family fascinating but the photos of others even more so.
And it was these photos and their use, scattered throughout the text, that saved this book. I found that the story itself was a little lacklustre and predictable but I loved the way it twined around the photos of the peculiar children that really made it interesting and kept me reading.
The story is centered around sixteen year old Jacob who leaves America for a remote Welsh location where he hopes to finally make sense of the tall tales his Grandpa told him and the incredible pictures which Jacob always believed to be fakes. On his arrival Jacob finds himself drawn to the mysterious Emma and her friends as the mystery of his Grandfather’s life begins to unravel.
As I say the story itself didn’t wow me but I did love Riggs’ method of storytelling and his ingenious use of genuine vintage photography and the interview with the author at the back of my copy increased that feeling. So although I didn’t immensely enjoy this book I can recommend it to anyone else with an interest in vintage photography or anyone who’s ever looked at an old picture and wondered who and why and where that photograph was taken.