Throwback Thursday: The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

I remember the first time I saw this book. It was in my school library, and it was the title and the cover that drew me in. What help me captive was the style of writing and tone of voice Michaelis uses throughout the novel.

Can we all take a moment to appreciate the genius that is Antonia Michaelis? I’ve yet to read any of her other works, but if The Storyteller is anything to go on, I’m eager to get my hands on them. This book has changed my perspective on how the author’s voice within the story should be.

This was my favorite aspect of the entire story. Michaelis has such a unique voice, it went beyond just her characters. In a book, or a series, we always have our characters, right? Right. They’re the ones who man the ship, take us where we need to go, tell us what we need to know, you get the picture. Even in third person (which The Storyteller is written in) we get these same characteristics. The difference lies in the fingerprint of an author’s writing. The style.

This is where I find authors set apart from one another. We all have our own style in our writing. It’s what makes our stories more unique than the rest. Sure, we may have an interesting plot, but it’s the style that gives it its own flare. In The Storyteller, the style is poetic, leaving the words to roll off the tongue one after the next. It captivates you like a siren’s song captivates a sailor. Right from the opening paragraph, we’re drawn in.

“Blood.
There is blood everywhere. On his hands, on her hands, on his shirt, on his face, on the tiles, on the small round carpet. The carpet used to be blue; it never will be blue again.” —
The Storyteller

Do you see the diction in there? “It never will be blue again.” This is her style at play. I don’t know about you, but if I were writing this, I’m almost positive I would have put, “It would never be blue again.” Someone else might put, “The color that stained it now, would be the color that stained it forever.” Or maybe, “The blue that I once knew, once gazed upon every time I walked past, is lost forever.” It’s these minor things that make the novel such an intriguing read. Every book I’d read before this had all been great, but when I found Michaelis’s book, I found something that will continue to stick with me.

It wasn’t just her style alone that sucked me in, though. It was the idea behind it that her style only enhanced. When I found this book, I was just out of tenth grade and while I’d read a great deal, I hadn’t found a novel that told and story within a story. This, much like the cover and the title, caught me. It was such a foreign idea, and when Abel came in, telling Micha her story I was thoroughly a captive of the novel. There was nothing that could rescue me from the sea of words or, more appropriately, the sea the princess sailed on. I’m sure, by now, there are many stories out there that tell other stories within their pages (I read one just the other day on Wattpad), but I doubt I’ll ever find another tale as captivating as the one Michaelis told of Abel and his stories.

My favorite scenes in the story all revolved around these parts. I grew as eager as Anna and Micha to hear the next part of the tale. In the book, Abel has a magical way with words (I know it was just Michaelis, but come on. You can’t tell me Abel wouldn’t have made a talented storyteller in real life); and can we talk about the moment he added Anna into the story? I swear I was smiling every time she came up thereafter. It was such a significant show in how their relationship was progressing.

The other aspect in the plot that was intriguing was the whole “Who dun it?” which revolved around Abel and Micha’s mom who had gone missing. No one knew where she was, and no one could contact her. This was an enormous problem because Micha was still a child in elementary school and Abel wasn’t eighteen. With Micha’s dad poking his head around, and Abel implicating him for questionable actions (I think you all can catch my drift), time was a huge enemy.

Michaelis weaves this haunting and beautiful story of love, loss, sin, and human growth in such a breath-taking way that one can’t forget it, even if they wanted it. This book was constantly on my mind after I finished it, and even now it’ll plague my thoughts at the strangest of times, which can be the beautiful thing about books because it’s the cutesy, funny moments I remember that bring a smile to my lips. Sometimes, though, you remember those moments that feature such a striking line or style of writing that you have to pause for a moment and really appreciate it. It just so happens, Michaelis achieves both at the same time.

I could go on and on about the various other aspects of the story I adored such as the detailed descriptions that paint pictures so clear it’s as if you’re looking at them surrounded by crisp winter air; or the atmosphere she holds over the reader at every interval in the story, adding to the reading experience. If I did that we’d be here for hours, so that concludes this weeks Throwback Thursday. I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what your favorite parts of this book were, If you haven’t read it, but are interested in checking it out, you can find it on amazon. If you’re interested in more from Antonia Michaelis, head on over to her Goodreads Page. Until next time.

All the best.

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