Title: The Icarus Girl.
Author: Helen Oyeyemi.
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, mythology, magical realism, mental health.
Publication Date: 2005.
Summary: Jessamy “Jess” Harrison, age eight, is the child of an English father and a Nigerian mother. Possessed of an extraordinary imagination, she has a hard time fitting in at school. It is only when she visits Nigeria for the first time that she makes a friend who understands her: a ragged little girl named TillyTilly. But soon TillyTilly’s visits become more disturbing, until Jess realizes she doesn’t actually know who her friend is at all. Drawing on Nigerian mythology, Helen Oyeyemi presents a striking variation on the classic literary theme of doubles — both real and spiritual.
My rating: 8/10
♥ Should she?
Or was she going to anyway, whether she should or not?
♥ "You know in "Sleeping Beauty", when she falls asleep?"
"How come everyone else falls asleep as well?"
"Everyone fell asleep because of the fairy's spell, doyface."
"Yeah, but, Mummy, why did the fairy make everyone else fall asleep?"
"Ummmm. Because she was a good fairy, and she didn't want the princess to wake up years later surrounded by dead bodies, I suppose!"
♥ Jess blinked. It was incredible that her mother could really believe that a mother's dreams, a mother's fears, were the same as the child's, as if these things could be passed on in the same way as her frizzy hair had been, or the shape of her nose.
♥ The truth was, Jess didn't know what had frightened her about a whole castleful of people falling asleep just because one girl had. She had no idea, and no wish to explore this fear. But with her mother, it always seemed to be about reasons. Why, why, why? Didn't she know that knowing why didn't make things any less scary?
♥ "You know when you pray, you are heard, if not by God, then by yourself. When you pray, you tell yourself what you truly want, what you really need. And once you know these things, you can do nothing but go after them."