Friday, September 5, 2014

Making Marion


I have loved Sherwood Forest ever since I read my first children's Robin Hood when I was small. 
I was eager to revisit the paths and glens in all their lore, and I needed a good guide, somebody with a sense of humor and a sparkle in her eye. I found her in Making Marion. 

This is a quietly hilarious and subtly romantic tale of a modern Irish girl in search of something more.
Marion has lived her whole life within a predictable circle of less than helpful relationships. 
Some were flat out abusive, and these have left her with panic-attack battles to fight to this day.
Many of them were habitually damaging, often using words to cut the deepest wounds.
Despite everything, Marion had one cheerleader who encouraged her to spread her wings and be unconventional. 
That's how she ends up in Nottinghamshire England, chasing down her father's past based on one photograph of him dressed as Robin Hood. 

Prepare to love this girl... this girl who sometimes loses her very voice, yet always has a heart full of feelings and thoughts. 
This girl who needs some time to be herself, without her mother who seemed to hate her or her "maybe-fiancee" who tried to love her. Prepare to sigh with her and be confused with her. Marion is about to learn to let go and live... fully. Messily. Beautifully. Boldly. Alive unlike never before. And Marion will be making friends, the kind who make life worthwhile and who help us shed the lies we've been told and learn the truth. 

These friends are all characters, but none of them felt too-zany-to-be-real. Scarlett- indomitable spirit and Southern accent, whose "life lessons" are solid gold. Valerie and Grace, the younger girls who both annoy and bless Marion. 
Rueben... who is hard to categorize, and who accepts Marion without questions or demands.
The writing in this book really carries the day. The descriptions of Sherwood Forest and the Village, the storytelling inside Marion's head... it lets us hear her voice. 

Thank you Kregel and Lion Fiction for my review copy!

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