A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. (Goodreads)
“Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”
This book is about a boy who witnesses his grandfather’s death. He travels to an old orphanage in Wales, and eventually meets kids with powers. He saves them from monsters called hollowgasts, and his psychologist transpires to be the antagonist. He saves the children, leaving the orphanage in ruins.
There is actually some symbolism in this book. For, example there is one part where Emma Bloom (a “peculiar” with fire powers) and Jacob Portmann go underwater into an abandoned shipwreck. The only way they can see under the water is because of what Emma calls flashlight fish. She says that they’re peculiar and “they hide”. This is an implicit form of symbolism because the fish represent the peculiar children. She says that no ordinary human can see the fish because of the fact that they hide. Another form of symbolism is relevant when Jacob takes an apple from Emma before he leaves. The next morning the apple is a crumpled pile of what he compares to soil. Later he finds that if the peculiar children leave their time-loop then they age very quickly. This apple symbolizes Emma, who if she leaves the loop then she would eventually age to the point of death. But, if you delve deeper into this symbolism you find out that apples are usually the symbol of “forbidden fruit” in various forms of literature and art. You could say that Emma is forbidden fruit, and as a woman who is technically over eighty-years-old and has dated the main character’s grandfather, then she probably should be. The apple is definitely a warning sign of sorts.
The setting hugely contributed to the overall mood, tone, and meaning of the book. It contributed by showing how at the beginning Jacob is a boy disappointed by his grandfather’s bizarre stories he told when he was younger, living in Florida where he doesn’t fit in. He ends up traveling to Cairnholm, Wales where he tries to find out more about his grandfather’s past life. This is a huge event that happens because if he never traveled to Wales, he would never have found the peculiar children. When he first travels into the time-loop, this gives the reader an eerie and mysterious feeling about the children literally being frozen in time.
I actually really enjoyed this book. The book resonates this very uncanny feeling by combining the vintage pictures with the story. But, they’re not just any pictures. They contribute to the overall feeling of the story by giving you visuals of what is happening. The storyline is even more captivating with its chilling storyline and ghastly monsters. To say the least, this book was brilliantly mysterious, heartwarming, and unearthly.