Review: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock HeartThe Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Born on the coldest day ever recorded, Jack’s heart is frozen and replaced with a cuckoo-clock.

Abandoned by his mother and raised by the witch doctor, Dr. Madeleine who installed the clock, Jack is warned that he must never fall in love because it could overwhelm his unusual pacemaker. Jack does well for about ten years, until he meets Miss Acacia, a street performer who wears glasses and has a pretty voice. Jack is in love and sets out to find Miss Acacia.

Thus begins the story of "The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart."

The journey Jack goes on–both geographically and emotionally–is a compelling one. The story relies heavily on magical-realism. So your enjoyment of the book will depend heavily on how willing you are to jump on board with that. I was willing to do so and found the novel to be magical at some points.

However, it’s a bit disappointing in the final pages. Several key revelations late in the story ring false and the story ends on a bit of a down note. I can see what Mathias Melzieu was trying to do, but I don’t think the story was necessarily successful in achieving it. (And yes, I am being deliberately vague here to avoid SPOILERS).

The first three quarters of "Cuckoo Clock Heart" are compelling, fascinating and magical. The last quarter is a bit of a letdown.

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