The Boatman By Kat Hawthorne
Name: The Boatman
Author: Kat Hawthorne
Genre: Middle-grade, Gothic Fiction
Publisher: Common Deer Press
Originally Published: May 16, 2015
My Rating: 4/5 stars
*NOTE: I am grateful to Common Deer Press for sending me this book as a review copy. However, this does not at all hinder my honest opinions regarding the book. This is a spoiler-free review. All opinions are solely mine.
This is one of the best children’s literature pieces I’ve read. While this book captures a lot of emotion, it also does have many fun elements! I enjoyed reading this book. If I look at it with a grown up’s perspective, I am able to read between the lines and that’s what made my reading experience greater.
This book follows the life of a young girl named Isabella Wixon who is a very curious child. Isabella is able to see the ghosts of her parents and even talk to them. She loved her father when he was alive and so, is happy to be able to talk to him even when he’s become a ghost. But, besides her parents, she is also able to see the ghost of another young girl who surely was menace while alive and a peculiar supernatural being named as ‘The Boatman’. Isabella doesn’t know about who the young girl was like in her life but, she surely has heard and known The Boatman.
The Boatman is that being who rejoices when a person feels demotivated and afraid. He takes everybody who is afraid of him, in his possession only to leave the person in a very desolate state. Isabella is afraid of The Boatman. She doesn’t know what she would do if she ever came across him. Read the book to know if she ever confronts him! This is where I think The Boatman isn’t just a monster kids should be afraid of. I think The Boatman exists in all of our lives. He is the very devil who compels us to be afraid, who prevents us from overcoming our fears. In fact, he fears our overcoming our fears.
I loved reading about things talking and spiders guiding in the story. It just added a really fun element to it! Also, the fact that no one knows if Isabella’s seeing and talking to ghosts and things just happened to her in reality or if it was all going inside her head (until the end of the story), got me intrigued.
You do need to read the book to know what happens to Isabella, how she perceives things, and what she grows up to be!
I really like Izzy (Isabella) as a character. I love how naturally fun-loving she is and how she likes to perceive things! So yes, she and her talking spider are my favourite characters from the book!
Although, I did love the instances and the message behind the story, I just feel like something was missing when we look at the story as a whole. The story goes on in a not-so-happening manner, according to me, except for a two or three minor adventures. Nothing major happens. I would have loved to read about a few more adventures which Isabella and the ghost of another young girl could’ve ventured on.
If you’re somebody who’s wanting to get to a middle grade, spooky fantasy, just for a light read, and some laughs then, do pick up this book!
Have you already read this book? Or are you planning to? Let me know in the comments section below!
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