Splendors and Glooms
Blessing and cursing
From the critics
From Library Staff
A deliciously lurid Dickensian melodrama featuring two orphans, a disappearing girl, and an evil puppet master.
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The witch is dying. The girl is lonely. The children are hungry. Four people unconnected until the puppet master Grisini brings them, in a sense, together. Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are orphans who have lived with the man for years, doing his puppet work with him, received almost nothing in return. When they perform for Clara Wintermute, a rich little girl who requests a performance for her birthday, they are unprepared when the next day policeman come around asking questions. Clara has disappeared and Grisini is under suspicion. When Grisini himself disappears, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall find something that makes Clara's fate seem out of the ordinary. All the more so when they are summoned by a witch to a beautiful distant estate and everyone, even Grisini, is reunited once more for a final showdown.
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Frightening or Intense Scenes: Nothing graphic, but finding out how Parsefall lost his little finger is horror-rific just the same.
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But she wondered if one day it might be true - if somehow Parsefall might help her to cross the border between paralysis and life. With every touch, the bond between them grew stronger. When he played upon her strings, Clara glimpsed the splendors and glooms that haunted his mind. She shared his appetite for prodigies and wonders, for a world where stars and skeletons frolicked until their bones fell apart.
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