Inkheart is a book about books. It’s about a bookbinder, Mo, and his daughter, Meggie. Where is her mother? She doesn’t know, but Mo does. They live in a house with stacks of books all over, it’s absolutely overrun. The mess doesn’t bother Meggie, though; they’re Meggie’s only comfort besides her dear father, Mo. She wishes he’d read aloud to her, but for some reason he won’t – and the reason why is where the story truly begins.
The characters are, of course, Mo and Meggie, and then we have Dustfinger (the fire-eater) and Gwin (his horned marten), Elinor (Meggie’s maternal aunt), Capricorn (the antagonist), his henchmen Basta and Flatnose, and then we have Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart’s very own Inkheart. There are others, of course, but you’ll see if you read it, no spoilers!
I struggled a great deal to finish this book (though I did finish it in June – after 7 months, haha!), and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not used to reading much anymore or because the plot didn’t move quickly enough. I found myself skimming through long-winded descriptions to get to actual plot-progression, for I really could not care less about how much Meggie loves books or the intricate details of reclothing a book by the second half of the novel. As a lot of other reviews [on Goodreads] mentioned, I don’t care much for book reverence. Elinor was simply over the top obsessed with her books – which she did not touch.
I pictured Mo as a very old soul, not at all has he’s portrayed in the film. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much of a film adaptation, right? Read before you watch (if you watch at all)!
The novel’s pace picked up for me at the end, but it was still a struggle to care. I don’t see myself re-reading. Still, it wasn’t a bad read, per se, though I’m not planning on finishing the trilogy. I’m a bit sad I didn’t engage more with the characters, but I think if I were a bookworm I might have a little more. I did love the nature of the ending. Without spoiling too much (just a little), I would love to live in such a fairytale estate! It’s no wonder Meggie and Mo stayed with Elinor rather than returning to their house. I wonder if they picked up all of their books though, or if they just replaced them all. They did have a lot of books.
I thought the power Capricorn had throughout the story ridiculous, especially where the police were involved. Every character was much too invested in family, something else I couldn’t relate to very well (though I do relate to love, so I got through it).
I’m curious about the nature of the translation and how it changed the book! But I’m not about to pick up German just yet if at all, so I may never know…