I’ve been meaning to read a Neil Gaiman for ages and decided to go with Coraline for my black cat square. It intrigued me and didn’t demand much of a time investment as it’s only roughly 80 pages.
Coraline is a dark fairy tale about a little girl who gets bored and decides to go exploring. She picks up a key for a door that she’s looked at once before and found to contain nothing but a brick wall. Another flat supposedly lies behind there and one day when her parents are out, she decides to explore it. When she opens it for the second time she finds a hallway which looks very similar to the one in her own house. She takes a trip into this corridor and comes out at a place that completely mirrors her own world. When there she meets her ‘other’ parents who resemble her own parents in every way except that they have buttons for eyes. In fact, everyone has buttons for eyes. Eventually Coraline comes to learn that her ‘other’ mother has malevolent intent and wants Coraline to live there permanently. This ‘other’ mother is keeping the souls of other children she tried to ensnare, plus Coraline’s parents. It’s up to Coraline to try and save them all and rescue herself from the ‘other’ mothers clutches.
I loved Coraline. She was one of the main reasons I connected with the book. Even though she was rarely given the attention she deserved, resulting in people mispronouncing her name etc, she shrugged these inconveniences off. When she was trapped in the alternate world she was resourceful and cunning in order to rise above her tormentor. I was quite taken with Gaiman’s style in general and will seek out his work in the future.