- Author: Nicholas Conley
- Published: November 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Category: Fantasy, Contemporary, Book Review
Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language.
Clay Tongue is a moving story of a little girl’s belief, determination and courage. Young Katie Mirowitz is a quiet, shy child, except when she’s with her Grandfather. Katie loves talking to him, even now when he can’t form coherent words anymore after his stroke, they always manage to communicate one way or another. But Grandfather is keeping a secret, Katie saw him trying to hide his journal. The knowledge gives her an unfamiliar, and not altogether comfortable, feeling in her heart.
When a nightmare wakes Katie in the middle of the night, she overhears an emotional exchange between her mother and Grandfather. It seems her Grandfather may not be able to live with the family much longer. Katie waits until the coast is clear and sneaks a peek at her Grandfather’s desk, finding the journal and an old iron key. She sees that her Grandfather has written a description of his experience, when he was much younger, of meeting a golem who had the power to grant wishes.
She put the notebook back in the drawer. I’m sorry, Grandfather. She felt as if she’d invaded his privacy. Then, she saw the key again – and wondered.
What if it’s true? She’d assumed it was all make-believe, but her grandmother’s name was Virginia. The key was there in his desk. She held it up to the light, wondering if maybe, just maybe, a young Grandfather really had gone out into the woods there and seen a giant man of clay.
A delightfully touching story of unconditional love and selflessness, told from Katie’s perspective in the third person. Nicholas Conley portrays Katie, her naturalness and strong, loving relationship with her grandfather, extremely well and sympathetically. The characters are wonderfully defined and very believable, giving an immediate sense of who they are and their feelings. I found myself really caring about them and hoping the situation would be resolved.
The writing is wonderful, sympathetic and effective in conveying anxiety and distress, the fragility and poignancy of the situation they all find themselves in. Descriptive phrasing evokes strong images. I enjoyed the inventiveness of the story very much, and the way the golem’s human characteristics are represented. I love the cover image which is almost ethereal, in keeping with the story. And, of course, the resolution.
I chose to read and review Clay Tongue for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy of the book from the author.
About Nicholas Conley
Nicholas Conley is a novelist, world traveler, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His award-winning novel Pale Highway was influenced by his real life experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, and his work in healthcare also inspired his essays for Vox and The Huffington Post, as well as his radio play Something in the Nothing, which was performed live on WSCA 106.1 FM in 2016.
In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire. More information on Nicholas can be found on his website, www.NicholasConley.com.