Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel by Ruth Emmie Lang

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door. (taken from Amazon)

I had to post the Amazon blurb above because I have no idea how to summarize this book. And, honestly, the Amazon description doesn’t quite manage it either. But that’s simply because parts of this book are so odd that they defy any sort of explanation.

That’s not to say it’s a bad book. I really enjoyed it. It’s just so unique that it’s hard to put my thoughts into a coherent post. It was a very sweet story. Weylan, while the subject of the book, is more of the catalyst for what happens in everyone else’s life. He’s both wise and- in some ways- very naive. He sees things differently and carries his unique perspective with him everywhere he goes, changing lives in ways both small and large.

This book is narrated by the different people whose lives he’s wandered through. I especially liked reading his interactions with the outcast boy, Micah. They help each other, and I very much liked that it was a learning experience for both of them.

Aside from the unicorn pig (weird, right?), another thing that I found a little different about this book is its pacing. It meanders instead of feeling like there’s a set goal or storyline. Sometimes that was endearing. Other times it really annoyed me. I thought the first half of the book was fantastic, but I started to lose interest toward the end. The last little bit bordered on the saccharine, but the rest of the book was interesting enough that I still ended up enjoying it as a whole.

It’s not the best book I’ve read this year, but it’s a solid, sweet book, and I’m not averse to reading other books that the author may write.

Have you read this? What did you think?  Also- what was the point of the horned pig?

4 thoughts on “Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel by Ruth Emmie Lang

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