"The Changeling" by Victor LaValle

Updated: Jan 30


TITLE: The Changeling

AUTHOR: Victor LaValle

PUBLISHER: Spiegel & Grau

PUBLISHED DATE: June 13th 2017

ISBN: 9780812995947

PAGES: 431

*Blerd Book Club Selection

The. Book. Is. Spectacular.

Clearly one of my favorite books of the year. I read this months ago, and I'm not sure why I didn't write a review right away, but this book pushed the limits of genre, and I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, but I loved it.

The ending of the book wasn't as strong as the first 3/4, but it's still an incredible read, and one of my favorites for the year.

This book tackles so many themes. Parenting, social media, postpartum depression, mental illness, infanticide...This book is dark and darker, and manages to infuse wit in a way that is relatable and incredibly personal.

Apollo's father abandoned him at a young age. He discover a love of literature at a young age that takes him into a career as a used bookseller. He meets Emma, a librarian, falls in love, and the two start a family. The pair both bring issues from their younger selves into the parenting and marriage. It's not long before the pressure of life, social media, and the strong desire to "live the fairy tale" start to cause a rift. When Apollo notices Emma suffering from what seems like postpartum depression, and having an existential crisis where she doesn't think her baby is a baby, he is dismissive of her, and thus the story delves into the fantastical. This is a horrific, layered story, told in such a unique and gripping way. I was obsessed and listened to it in one setting. I read this book close to when it was published and it has stayed with me all of this time.

Further Watching:

When the Bough Breaks Documentary

LIT: Victor LaValle on Changelings, Literary Horror, and Racist Book Reviewers

Recommendation: Read it!!!

Audience: Millennials and Beyond

* I purchased the print copy and the audiobook version of this book.

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