First of all, happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your cooking go smoothly and your kitchen clean themself!
I saw this lovely volume floating around Goodreads for some time before I actually read it. Even then, the elegant title and the enigmatic expression in the heroine's eyes might not have fully tempted me if I hadn't learned some background information on the book. Ingrid, by Lynnette Kraft, features the artwork of her daughter, Abigail Kraft, and music by her son, Jared Kraft.
(Unfortunately, since it seems right up my alley, I can't review the music because my Kindle wouldn't download it. So I'll just go ahead and say it was lovely.)
In the village of Scot, two children are born on the same day: rich, healthy Adair, son of the most hated man in town, and poor, mute Ingrid of the happy Harrison family. Despite their different backgrounds, the two grow to young adulthood as best friends. But railroads and industry are changing the world, and Scot must change with it. When two strangers come to town, Ingrid must embark alone for a chance to understand herself, uncover the truth, and find her own voice.
I wish, wish, wish that I had read Ingrid years ago. It is bursting with heart, lively characters, and adventure, but some treacherous grown-up part of me kept observing, "The fantastical element isn't well-integrated into the story. Kraft doesn't establish the setting. Could she have introduced the railroad earlier?"
But alas, all of these things are true. Although I wished I could be friends with the majority of the characters in Ingrid, I couldn't suspend my disbelief on the two magical strangers who were introduced a little too late into a story that felt a little too normal for fantasy. And despite the presence of a railroad and terms like French doors and newspapers, Kraft never specified where and when Ingrid takes place.
But as surely as those flaws are true, I must confess that I neglected calculus for a deplorable length of time in order to finish Ingrid. I recommend it highly to those in need of a literary pick-me-up. It is light, enchanting, and welcomingly reminiscent of the books of my childhood.