I am unable to resist middle grade books with colorful and beautiful covers — especially when those books come in audiobook form. A Tangle Of Knots by Lisa Graff found it’s way onto my MUST LISTEN ASAP list after I read the cake filled summary and saw that it was one of those books where a lot of threads weave together to form a bigger picture. Also? What is it with middle grade books and food? Seriously, I am probably going to gain 10 pounds by osmosis as I read these books. For the most part, I liked A Tangle Of Knots but I am not rushing to add it to my favorite books ever.
A Tangle Of Knots is set in Poughkeepsie NY, which is upstate to anyone from NYC but downstate to me. I have to mention this because I love New York setting books that take place beyond the City. Anyways, Lisa Graff uses a bit of magical realism in her story. You see, in this book everyone has a Talent which basically means they are inherently gifted at something. Cady’s talent is cake baking and she is the best at it. Also. She is an orphan and y’all know how much I love orphans. She lives at Miss Mallory’s orphanage. Miss Mallory’s talent FYI is finding the perfect parent for each kid at the orphanage. Unfortunately — she just hasn’t found the right person for Cady yet. Weaved in with Cady’s story is that of Will, Marigold and Zane – three siblings in a family where it seems everyone has a talent except for Marigold. I can’t tell you more about the plot, except to say there is a Talent thief and he is bad news bears and you’ll see why should you decide to read A Tangle Of Knots.
Straight up, I liked Cady because she was so into cake baking. Well, also because she’s quite selfless and kind. You see, she tries to bake each person the exact perfect cake for them and always succeeds. It’s pretty awesome. ALSO. I really liked the character of Zane because he’s the kid that might have to go to boarding school and he’s constantly getting in trouble. Yet, when his siblings’ backs are against the wall, Zane is there for them. Regardless of whether it gets him in more trouble or not. Really, I should mention that it was nice reading about Zane’s intact family which seem a bit jumbled and messy and then contrasting that with Cady who is essentially alone. It made for an interesting image. However, I do think that I might have been more attached to the characters if it was a singular character narrating instead.
I read A Tangle Of Knots via audiobook and I think liked reading it that way rather than print as it seems quite a few people are dissatisfied with it. The narrator is Kate Honaker. She does a marvelous job voicing the various children. Her voice is very melodic and soothing. And I honestly think that her narration greatly enhanced the story. Also. I actually listened when she read out the recipes within the book and I never ever do that. The audiobook is only 4 hours and 9 minutes which I think is super short and a good length for those new to audiobooks. Overall, I found A Tangle Of Knots by Lisa Groff to be a pleasant listen and I am interested in what is next for Groff. However, I’ve definitely read better books and while the concept is great, just I am not sure the story quite matched the scope.
Disclosure: Received audiobook for review