The mind is a very clever tool. It has a way of cloaking the things we find most horrific. It can also take you into a different world to escape the most desperate of situations, leaving some of the terror behind.
In The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, a world behind the walls of the most notorious of settings comes to light in an unlikely way. Set in the murkiest of places, and narrated by one of the inmates we are given a visual of what may occur. Yet the narration is perceived through the veil of beauty, from the smallest drip of water to the darkest corner as seen through the surreal vision of one of those who have found such a release of fear.
We are introduced to a monster and the angel sent to save him from death, in that same gossamer style where reality is only as you perceive it. Yet the story is strong and the narration only adds a bit of sequence that paints a covering over the pall of actuality. Can the angel save them all, or will her last visit with cruelty end her ability to look beyond the crime to see the person inside?
Denfeld has done a wondrous job of taking us into the gruesomeness of death row and giving us the visual tour through the eyes of one who has been able to find the beauty inside. In a somewhat macabre and eerie way we follow the action as mercy and clemency are argued against punishment.
Each of the characters has flaws and reality often intrudes within the dream world of the narrator. The ‘Lady’ as she is labeled, is known throughout the system, yet no one really knows her, only the agenda as it has been set forward. The prisoner set to die is ready to move forward but must plead his own case, convincing the ‘Lady’ of his need for punishment. Will she make a case for life, or will she allow for the truth of his disquiet?
If you enjoy mystery and suspense as well as a bit of magic and horror you will find it all here. The story is enthralling and keeps you reading far into the night. This would be a great book for a discussion group and create a great deal of argument and buzz, rounding out the feeling and thoughts of all those involved.