House of Dolls by Francesca Lia Block with illustrations by Barbara Mc Clintock has restored my faith in Block’s ability to tell a story that has a deeper meaning than the surface details.
Block typically writes for young adults. This slender volume is written for tweens, a younger audience. But not once does Block condescend to her readers. Rather, her poetic prose, so familiar to those who have read any of her other books, is evident on every page. By choosing to layer a more relevant story beneath the superficial one of the lives and relationships between the dolls and their child-owner, Block honors the developmental phase that many young girls go through where they still hold onto those things that inform childhood while emotionally knowing something more is out there.
She almost lost me but Block has lured, even seduced, me back into appreciating what she does so well. For this I am sincerely grateful.