The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is a delightful tale both entertaining and heart wrenching. The setting is 1892, a town off the coast of California. From the beginning of Moojie’s life the reader will sense a magic quality. Shortly after an earthquake Moojie was found at the door of a convent and eventually adopted by the Littleman’s. His name was written on his forehead. Moojie was a special child who walked with crutches and his left hand was withered and useless and yet he had amazing magical abilities. By concentrating his mind he could make objects fly and could heal animals and people. After the death of his mother, his father sent him to live on his grandfather’s farm St. Isidore’s Fainting Goat Dairy Farm in the Valley of Sorrows. Moojie was a lonely child with only a cat for a friend. As a teen he met a strange clan, known as the Hostiles by the local folks who were afraid and detested them. The clan spoke in riddles, and looked up to Moojie with respect.
It is difficult to believe that The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is the debut novel of Robin Gregory; she writes as a seasoned writer. This is a coming of age Young Adult tale that will please young and old alike. Most of the characters were delightful, Phineas, Hocus Pocus and Pappy were secondary characters but lovable. The reader is witness to Moojie’s growing up and maturing as he faces, rejection, hurt, and death. I could not put this mythical fairy tale down and read it in one sitting. There are messages of humor and insight throughout this tale that we can absorb. I highly recommend The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman.
Robin Gregory's The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is superbly crafted with well thought out diction and bold imagery. Both poignant and optimistic, it is but life's paradox depicted in the character of Moojie Littleman. When the boy's mother dies, he is confronted with all of life's drudgery, but this drudgery does not break him rather makes him into a mature and rounded character, as he develops through the story. Moojie loses his mother at eight but since then, all his fears, nightmares, delusions egg him on towards one goal. He begins to observe and understand laws of nature. Wiser nonetheless, with tremendous insight into self-organisation, he discovers how flocks of birds may fly in unison sometimes to form one whole. Moojie ripens unwittingly, inspite of all provocations. With all the wondrous adventures he encounters, he takes this reader through an enchanted, yet thorny path of an 'improbable' journey of truth and beauty.
Moojie Littleman struggles through life with physical handicaps that pale in comparison to the social handicaps of the grownups who are supposed to be caring for him. This is the story of a spiritual coming of age,and the power to heal oneself when one first learns to surrender to the concerns of others. It's about light and love and the moral convictions that only arise from within when we are quiet enough to listen. Moojie, a disappointment even to himself, must, like many of us, look beyond his life circumstances for the answers he seeks. His is a hero's journey. The lyrical prose and unique 'Voice' of this tale do not obscure the strong character and story lines that are sure to inspire generations of YA and adult readers alike. Robin Gregory is a storyteller in the classical style of a bygone era. This book is a gem that deserves to be widely read.
Great! Who would have thought that a fiction book about a hesitant, lonely, and abandoned-in-infancy cripple could be so moving, so touching and, yes, so human-wise convincing. From the first words (‘I don’t believe in miracles’ / ‘Why, you’re talking to a tree, aren’t you?’) I was hooked – and then on to Moojie’s birth and upbringing, his longing for a family – any family – his love of animals, his ambivalent longing for his father, memories of his sweet mother, then his befriending by all – no, not quite all – of the ‘other’ people in the cave across the moors, and his moving growth from boy, through adolescence to a young man, who, for all his crutches and useless left had, could love. No sentimentality either in either situation or conclusion.
When it comes to quirky, magical novels with broad appeal, The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman certainly makes the grade. In the great tradition of children's protagonists who subvert the adult world, Robin Gregory delivers a spellbinding narrative brimming with intriguing concepts that engage both heart and mind. At its core, it’s an inventive fantasy that is as much about the eponymous Moojie Littleman as it is about the people he meets along his journey, and the profound effect they have on his existence and world view. With a delicate touch and storytelling panache, there’s never a moment when Moojie Littleman’s character isn't entirely believable. Gregory imbues her story with a power and unity that make it a genuine page turner and yet she never lets the story get so heady that it becomes adrift within its own plot. Add a host of cleverly nuanced and eclectic characters to guide Moojie along the way and it simply makes a superb read.
Enchanting and wholly entertaining, The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman is certainly deserving of a place on your bookshelf whilst boding well for future releases from Robin Gregory. It is highly recommended.