Rock (The Grand Ballast) skillfully blends romantic adventure into a darkly gorgeous and psychologically rich retelling of Greek myth with queer women at its center. The ambiguous hero is brooding teen Thera Ballard, who has a tentative alliance with her fellow outcast girls of Rock Point Girls’ Home. Her deep fascination with the terrible half-woman, half-bull Minotaur (who often appears in her dreams) leads her to escape to the labyrinth at the edge of town. She voluntarily enters the maze in search of beauty and insight about the villain who “showed the hero who she might become.” The first part of the book is a down-to-earth story about coming of age in an institution with mean girls, dangerous secrets, and the stirrings of young love. Thera’s human perspective keeps the reader connected with the intense magical strangeness of the labyrinth and its inhabitants and phantoms, as well as with Thera’s emotional journey, as the text takes on the surrealism of a fairy tale. Rock changes the myth just enough to find a new message that feels like it was there all along. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015 Release date: 10/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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