Pavla is born to a peasant couple who have tried everything to have a child. Pavla is not what the couple expected though. She is a beautiful child, but she is a dwarf. Little Pavla grows to be loved by her family, but her body does not grow. Again, her peasant parents turn to suspicious treatments and strange concoctions in an effort to correct her “defect.” Pavla, with the help of her friend Danilo, face trial after trial on an adventure to find themselves and where they belong in the world.
OK, admittedly my synopsis is bad. This book is hard to explain. The best I can do is to say that it is part fairy tale and part… allegory? It is difficult to even unpack what the book is meant to be saying. This is a book that needs to be read a few times and perhaps analyzed in depth. It is not a book for everyone. Strange things happen with very little explanation, much like a myth or fairy tale. If you can just accept what happens and think in broader terms, metaphorical terms perhaps, I think that you can draw much more enjoyment out of the novel.
So, what can I say about this? I liked it. A lot, actually. I will say that it is difficult to connect with the characters though. It feels like there is a small distance between the reader and the characters, much like a fairy tale style narrative. You get into the characters’ heads more than you would a character in a Brothers Grimm story, but there is a distance that is hard to pin down (like everything else in this book). If you enjoy magical realism, can either just go with the flow when weird stuff happens or enjoy taking the time to analyze as you read, and want to read something really different… this might be a good choice for you.