In this entertaining tale, a 9-year old boy, Oskar, is on a secret quest to learn about a key he found hidden in a vase in his parent’s room. His father was one of the victims of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the key represents a final opportunity for the boy to learn about the last days of his father’s life. Oskar is reminiscent of Eloise from the Kay Thompson children’s series. Rather than limiting his travels to the Plaza Hotel, however, Oksar tromps through New York knocking on the doors of strangers whose last names match that of the name he found on the envelope that held the key. The characters he meets are amusing and always kind.
The novel feels a bit like a fairy tale or a children’s story, but has much more depth. The novel examines the different ways people try to restore peace to their lives after a tragic event. Self-harm, lowering expectations, and running away are just a few of the ways the characters try to achieve inner peace. Despite serious undertones, the novel is full of laugh-out-loud moments that will quickly propel the reader through the novel.
If you loved the film Amelie and books like A Confederacy of Dunces, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel! Also, if you are a fan of film adaptations of popular novels, talks are underway to turn this into a feature film starring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.
This book is located in Stacks 3 under the call number PS3606.O38 E97 2006.
– Recommended by Casey Long, User Education Librarian