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Isabelle, St Helen and St Katharine

The House with Chicken Legs

The House With Chicken Legs is an unusual book, far from the common ideas, miles away from those same old stories, retold a thousand times. It has that comforting familiarity, yet it does not have that constant predictability which authors find it so hard to avoid. It was based upon the old fairytales which we have all grown up upon – or at least some of it was – but it wasn’t just another retelling of it. It was a new story entirely – one which was filled with ideas previously unused. I found it – in the literal sense of the word – unputdownable. I loved the way that the plot was so alive – it twisted and turned like a sleek, swift otter darting playfully in a clear, cool river. I most enjoyed the way that you, at first, found it difficult to find the truth amidst the pool of lies and I adored the air of mystery surrounding Marinka’s life story. I liked the way that she kept on pushing forward, out to freedom and a normal life, no matter how many hands kept on pulling her back. I found it interesting how the house had feelings and was so playful and I took the house’s side when Marinka betrayed her trust (yes; the house was also a girl) and I found myself enjoying watching Marinka deal with the way that Lamya and Salma treat her well yet others so badly. I loved it when she shook them of for the benefit of others and decided that she wanted nothing to do with it. Two of my favourite bits, however, are her true friends Nina and Benjamin. I particularly liked Nina’s tales of the desert and Benjamin’s kindness in letting her look after Benji – his lamb and in asking his dad to let Marinka and Jack her unimaginatively named jackdaw live on their land. That’s enough about what I liked about it though. Now it’s time to say a little about the characters.
Marinka is the main character. She cruises through life with an open heart and an open mind. She is ready to stand up for others and will happily spring to anyone’s defence. She finds herself a tangle of emotions after realising the truth about herself and her past. Her greatest wish is to lead a normal life. A life a whole world away from the strange reality of being Yaga. A life of freedom. A life from the bonds which hold her captive. All she wants is to control her life. These dreams stay strong despite the realisation that she has not lived a life. she has lived a lie.
The House is her loyal protector and friend. It – or should I say she – has grown swings and played games with Marinka since Baba Yaga first took her in. She has comforted Marinka many times but – to Marinka’s eternal frustration always goes to remote places.
Baba Yaga took Marinka in as a baby and when she goes through the gate Marinka thinks all is lost. Marinka tries to follow her.
Benjamin tries to protect Marinka when she goes through the gate. He loves to draw and particularly likes Jack. He is Marinka’s best friend.

Posted on: 30th April 2019 at 08:30 am

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