The Cherished delves into the darker side of fairies, folklore, and missing children.
While The Cherished offers an interesting premise, it lacks characterization and pacing.
The Cherished follows Jo, who was willed a farmhouse by her estranged grandmother. Their relationship is tenuous at best, considering she is the mother of her father, who not only passed away but had a history of schizophrenia and once was arrested for kidnapping his own daughter.
Jo has never stopped loving her father, feeling out of place with her mother’s wealthy white family. Jo’s father is left ambiguous, but he was not white, which creates a sense of otherness for Jo. But Jo is unfortunately not an empathetic character.
She lacks the personality to carry the tone of her dialogue and inner turmoil. Yes, she feels disconnected from her family. Still, you also see that she purposely alienates herself because she does not like her mother’s family.
However, the dialogue creates a juxtaposition. We’re supposed to feel sorry for her. Jo wants us to feel sorry for her, except she purposely does things because she knows they will alienate her. After all, she does not want to be a part of the world her mother grew up in. For instance, she calls her baby half-brother the “ameobert” behind her mother’s back. That is just one example of how she purposely chooses to distance herself from her mother and her side of the family.
It’s hard to feel sorry for a character when she acts contrary to her dialogue.
However, her character also lacks warmth and personality. Even as the story progresses and the dynamic between her mother and her shifts, connecting to her is a struggle.
It all goes back to her tone or lack thereof.
There is no passion in the story that is actually interesting. Fairies kidnapped from their home in Europe decades ago, in revenge, kidnap children from the town they were taken to. Jo’s family is responsible, and now that her grandmother is dead, the responsibility falls to her, a teenager who doesn’t believe in fairies. Until her curiosity gets the better of her, and she breaks the barrier her ancestor set up. Now with the town and her unborn baby brother on the line, she has to rectify her actions and her memories of her father.
So there is something worth reading here, but as far as the characters go, connecting to them is a struggle.
The Cherished is not a bad novel. However, it lacks warmth to keep the reader thoroughly entertained.
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