Looking for a new read? Mechthild Glӓser’s The Book Jumper hit shelves in January this year. Glӓser is an award-winning German author, and The Book Jumper is her first novel to be translated into English.
The Book Jumper is a gorgeously written tale where the classic novels we love so much come to life. Amy Lennox is unsure of what to expect when she and her mother return to their ancestral home on the island of Stormsay. Amy soon learns she is a book jumper, a reader with the incredible ability to jump into stories and interact with the characters within them.
As incredible as her power is, it brings a daunting task. Someone has been stealing crucial ideas from the stories, and they may be after her life. Nevertheless, Amy decides to take on the task of finding the thief, and winds up on an incredible adventure.
The first thing I noticed about the book was the gorgeous prose that it was written in. Glӓser paints such a clear picture, it’s almost as if the reader has jumped into the story as well. The first quote that drew me in was Glӓser’s description of the secret library underneath the island.
“The flight of steps ended as suddenly as it had begun and I was met by the smell of old paper. This was where the bookshelves began. They were made of dark wood and were around ten feet tall. There were narrow ladders at regular intervals that could be slid from side to side. The shelves groaned under the weight of folios and leather-bound books, and in amongst them I could also make out paperbacks and yellowed scrolls… it was full of whispered words, the lure of stories waiting to be read, a rustle of promise that hung in the air. How many adventures were hidden in here in paper and ink, how many great love stories, how many epic battles? I’d fallen in love with the place already.”
Glӓser expertly writes to address all five senses, taking us up along the rocky cliffs of the island of Stormsay and the lonesome moors.
“I sat down on a rock and began to sketch the vegetation at the edge of the cliff and the ocean beyond. The waves were dove gray and ebbed lazily against the foundations of the island with an ancient sloughing sound… there was a smell of salt and freedom; the sunlight danced across my fingers. With quick strokes I sketched the movement of the waves and the pattern of the few clouds reflected on their surface. I wish I hadn’t left my paints in Germany now. This was the most beautiful view I’d ever seen.”
While tracking down the thief, Amy teams up with Will, another jumper on the island. Bound by their need to save the reading world, they fall in love.
“He was beside me in a heartbeat. His lips tasted of words. Of hundreds, thousands, millions of words and the stories hidden inside them. And they tasted of salt, like the sea below us.”