The King Who Made Paper Flowers
Mercer University Press, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Barbara Lingens
his is a story about homeless people, and how kindness can really change the world. Arthur arrives in Savannah only to be pick-pocketed by Hamby, who immediately regrets what he did because Arthur saves him from jail.
amby is part of a group of homeless folk living together. As each is introduced by Hamby to us and Arthur, we learn the sad tales that led to their homelessness. All Arthur sees is another human being to like. He has a particular talent - he makes paper flowers and delights in giving them to people. Since he is on the street with street people who make their living there, doing magic, drawing caricatures and telling stories, Arthur manages to get quite a bit of attention. The result of this is that the mayor of Savannah feels threatened and determines to get rid of him. How the mayor's plan is foiled completes the story.
his novel is written in the first person, which sometimes means it can be very difficult to understand anything about any other character or action than the narrator's. Here, we fully understand the other characters without realizing we are being told about them by the narrator. This is truly wonderful writing about real people, told in an unforgettable way. My only quibble would be there are too many foreshadowings, but that does not in any way diminish the pleasure this story brings. Read and enjoy!
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