BY SEAN CLARK
Four of our contributors guessed the premise of Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger with only this cover image available to them. Now it’s up to you: which paragraph below is based on the real novel? The answer, and who wrote which fakery, will be posted in the comments later today.
1.) In this allegorical Red Riding Hood story, Red must outrun and outwit the maniacal Mr. Linger if she hopes to get home in one piece. She’ll soon learn to see the forest for the trees, as greater dangers still lurk in the shadows ahead. Balancing gripping terror with magical realism, Stiefvater’s first publication is a worthy endeavor to read.
2.) It’s her first day of womanhood, and Elise finds herself lost in the forest. As she wanders in search of a way out, she finds herself followed by a pack of wildcats. A few turns too many, and Elise can do nothing but continue to walk. Followed at a distance by an increasingly vast number of wild animals, Elise’s journey stretches from hours to days. Yet she doesn’t tire. Forced to march an unending path, Elise must wonder just what hold the forest has over her, and she over the forest life, and why.
3.) Grace and Sam found each other. Now, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love — the light and the dark, the warm and the cold — in a way you will never forget.
4.) An experimental novel filtered entirely through the point of view of an anonymous lingerer who observes the lives of others from the margins: she is the figure obscured by foliage who watches from the woods, the shadow lurking on the roof of an adjacent building, and the passenger sitting three seats back in the bus staring idly out the window. Other characters are glimpsed only in snippets, allowing the reader to construct the story for his or her self from what the lingerer witnesses. In her small town, the lingerer is invisible, and the only person with a clear view of the residents. And, when the town’s children begin to dissappear, it is the lingerer who may be the only one in a position to piece together the truth…
5.) For the first 13 years of her life, Michelle has been raised in the forest by wolves. But now, as her body erupts into womanhood and she becomes more cognizant of the world around her, Michelle finds herself wondering about life’s meaning, and begins a search for someone–anyone–who can answer her questions. Linger is more than a simple re-imagining of the Jungle Book with a female protagonist; it is a clever allegory for what it means to become a woman in our own wild world.