If you know something about this book you’ll know that the one thing that sets this book apart is the black and white photography featured in it. The story isn’t too bad either. Yet the entire book appears to be centred on the vintage photography really. A cursory search on the internet confirms it.
Jacob grows up listening to his grandfather’s stories of life as a boy during World War 2. And even though there is some military fighting mentioned, it mostly has to do with fighting monsters, a home for children with peculiar powers, and a headmistress who can sometimes turn into a bird. In the beginning Jacob listens to these stories with wide-eyed wonder, but as the years go by and Jacob’s reasoning skills kick in, his grandfather’s stories are too fantastic to be true. Upset with his grandfather for having lied to him, he confronts him and is slightly surprised when his grandfather’s response is a quiet “okay”.
Several years later, Jacob is now 16. One day while he is at work he gets a call from his grandfather who is extremely agitated about someone having found him and trying to kill him. Worried that his grandfather may be losing his mind, he decides to check on him. But when he gets there he finds the house ransacked and no sign of his grandfather.
A little while later Jacob discovers his grandfather dying in the woods. His intuition tells him that whatever killed his grandfather is not natural. Plus Jacob did see something strange in the woods that day that no one else saw.
Jacob realizes that he has a lot of questions about his grandfather and he doesn’t have a clue where to begin searching for answers. He finally decides to visit a small island off the coast of Wales, the island where his grandfather lived as a refugee during the holocaust.
The first few pages of this book are dope and I thought I would be addicted until the last page. But halfway through I found myself contemplating putting this book down incomplete. After I was through with the book I realized why: I’m a reader who enjoys a good book uninterrupted by pictures, however amazing the pictures may be. In fact, I tend to gravitate more towards a good story than outstanding pictures. Like I’d said in the very beginning Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is most popular for it’s amazingly spooky photography and not really its story. As far as the writing is concerned, for a story based on a couple of vintage photographs, it’s written well though after a point it fails to hold the reader’s attention on its own.
If you’re a fan of unusual photography, the supernatural, and a hint of morbidity, this book will not disappoint. This book is so popular that it is even being made into a movie. There is also talk of a sequel, probably based on more photographs from the writer’s collection.