Hidden in the Shelves is a feature where I show off a discovery (or rediscovery) that I came across while shelving books for work.
It sounds like a fairy tale. He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother — a princess in exile from a faraway land — are the only persons in their household assigned names. As the boy’s regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians’ fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments — and his own chilling role in them. Set against the disquiet of Revolutionary Boston, M. T. Anderson’s extraordinary novel takes place at a time when American Patriots rioted and battled to win liberty while African slaves were entreated to risk their lives for a freedom they would never claim. The first of two parts, this deeply provocative novel reimagines the past as an eerie place that has startling resonance for readers today.
Thank Goodreads for the summary! I’ve known about this book for a while. I’m not exactly sure why this caught my eye. Part of it might have been the ridiculously long name. Part of it might have been the fact that for some misguided reason I thought this was a fantasy book. (Imagine my shock when I actually looked up the summary for this feature) Maybe it was the fact that is was by M.T. Anderson. (I really enjoyed the first book I read by him, Feed)
Whatever it was it caused me to pull the book from the shelf at work when I stumbled across it again. After reading the summary, I’m not as interested in reading it. Back to the shelves it goes…