Book Review: Odd & True by Cat Winters. null
Book Review: Odd & True by Cat Winters. null
Author:
Published: September 12th 2017
Page Count: 368
Publisher:
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio. In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
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Odd & True was not at all what I expected, and I’ll be frank, I was quite disappointed with the plot as a whole. This book is listed as fantasy, supernatural and paranormal, however, I personally would put it more in the magical realism category. I spent the majority of the book wondering if I had been fleeced; if there was actually going to be any real magic or paranormal creatures in it. Without giving too much away, I can confirm that yes, this book does actually exist in the realm of fantasy. However, if you’re like me and prefer your fantasy and paranormal novels to be chock-full of those things, then you’re going to be disappointed like I was.

This is essentially a story about two sisters, family and the stories we tell ourselves and are told to keep the monsters of reality at bay. It is very well written, it’s just not personally my cup of tea. From a disability representation perspective, it’s very good. Trudchen, aka Tru, became ill with Polio as a child and as a result her right leg grew at a different rate. This resulted in a discrepancy between her two limbs of two and a half inches. With the aid of a brace and shoe with a taller heel, she is able to walk short distances. Walking is painful for Tru as moving her right leg requires a great deal of force which aggravates her joints, especially her hip.

Throughout the book, Winters never forgets that Tru is always conscious of how she has to move and the pain that accompanies it. As someone with chronic pain, I tend to notice when authors write about chronic pain and then forget about it for the little things, only remembering it when something big happens (for example, getting out of a carriage). There is one scene in particular where Tru has to walk on snow, and I appreciated how Winters took the time to describe how awkward it was for Tru to walk on a completely different surface. A lot of people don’t realise that surface texture makes a huge difference for those of us with physical disabilities that affect our lower limbs.

Likewise, Winters takes on the issue of how people perceive Tru, which in 1909 is completely wrapped up in her identity as a woman as well. Intersectionality is a huge part of the disabled community, and so often it gets completely ignored.

While I wasn’t a big fan of the plot, from a disability perspective Odd & True is a great read.

GeekDis Book Giveaway!

Throughout September, I am giving away some of the books that I am reviewing for GeekDis!

This giveaway is part of GeekDis, a collaborative event for members of the disability community to talk about disability representation in pop culture. You can learn more about GeekDis and see all the content myself and others have been creating here! To help spread awareness about the need for disability representation in pop culture, I am giving away books that feature disability representation.

I am giving away any book with disability representation that costs no more than £10.99 on The Book Depository at the time of the giveaway. All eligible books will be marked with GIVEAWAY in the title, just like this one, so keep an eye out for them! You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for notifications of new book reviews.

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