Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Monster Belt by Ruth Estevez


click on image to see on Amazon 

Both Harris White and Dee Winter encounter monsters and drownings in their early lives.  Harris loses his friend ten-year old Jonty to the Mediterranean from the island of Formentera, just off Ibiza.   Twenty-four children have drowned in the lake at Thorpemere.  Both Harris and Dee are there when the twenty-fifth, Jordan King, is taken by the mere. Dee as a little girl has met monsters, or so she believes, and Harris thinks a monster took his friend. The year Jordan drowns the convention about monsters , held at the hotel where Dee works, is closed early. The following year, Harris is about to offer an explanation about what really happened to his friend.  Was it, according to the dictionary definition, really the act of a monster? The attendees do not get the chance to find out.  Time and place are taken over by an event that is probably to do with climate change.

Both Harris and Dee grow and this is to some extent a bildungsroman for each of them. We are with Dee most of the time though occasionally the point of view passes to another, more often than not to Harris.  

Are the monsters real? Do they and the Monster Belt really exist?   We are kept guessing until the end and throughout more important is what is happening to Dee and Harris.

This is a long read – 351 pages of blocked text in a serif font. At the back of the book is a little information about the author and news of other books published by the innovative UCLan publishing company, the publisher that involves student on the publishing courses from the University of Lancaster.                  

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