The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Chosen as Amazon’s Best Book of the Month for March 2014, The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld is widely described as magical, a fantasy, with mythic beauty. This description brought me to read it with some skepticism. And I was right—it isn’t really a fantasy. That isn’t to say I didn’t like the book. It is an incredible book, very well-written, intense and compelling.
Not for the faint of heart, the book takes place mostly in a prison, and it deals intimately with several Death Row prisoners. In addition, the prison is a “dirty” prison with a corrupt guard manipulating the system. I wouldn’t call it graphic, but there are some perilous situations and crimes committed that we all, rightly or wrongly, have come to expect in the correctional institution.
The plot revolves around a woman investigator whose profession focuses on Death Row inmates’ appeals. Just like the author herself, she digs deep into the lives of these killers. In the process, we are shown the horrors that shaped and created the “monsters” dwelling in the dungeon. The magical elements are in the mind of one of the Death Row men, playing only a minuscule part in the whole.
Coming on the heels of recent publications and media focus on incarceration inequities, this book is sure to draw attention, and with the quality of the writing and the powerful message, I expect it to win some awards. Highly recommended.
4.5 out of 5 stars