Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Tackling Serious Issues With Gorgeous Prose.

Byline: Lisa Oberteuffer For the Journal

* 'Desert' is readable version of the years between World War II and the Czech "Velvet Revolution" of 1989

Jill Paton Walsh's enchanting new novel, "Desert in Bohemia," begins like a fairy tale with a silent castle, hidden deep in the woods. A girl pushes open the door and finds the house alive - fire burning, bread rising, milk warming on the stove, a cow and chickens in the barn, silken clothes still folded in drawers. But the castle is uninhabited, except for a wailing baby.

The reader quickly becomes aware that this fairy tale has distinct elements of a bad dream. The year is 1945, the girl is covered with blood not her own, and behind her in the forest lies something so horrible that she has buried the memory deep within the pit of her heart and will not speak of it for 20 years. …

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