Gregory Kirschling
July 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Truth About Celia

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kevin Brockmeier
publisher
Pantheon
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Shake the story line of ”The Lovely Bones” like a snow globe and you might get Kevin Brockmeier’s equally affecting miniaturist’s take on a little girl’s vanishing, The Truth About Celia. The narrator isn’t 7-year-old Celia, whose disappearance is never explained, but her father, Christopher, a sci-fi/fantasy writer plagued by memories ”like millions of tiny ball bearings that send him slipping and tumbling off his feet.” In his hopeful imaginings, Celia is brought back as a green-skinned waif in the Middle Ages, as the single mother of a 10-year-old magician, and as a disembodied spirit who calls her dad from beyond on her Walt Disney Talk-to-Me Telephone. Told in short, fine-tuned chapters, Brockmeier’s follow-up to 2002’s fairy-tale-inspired story collection ”Things That Fall From the Sky” is a dazzling fantasia on grief and time.

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