Hook & Jill: Neverland as never before - Andrea Jones

Hook & Jill – A ReviewHook & Jill Book Cover

by Katherine Keene-Doyle
Houston Public Library
September 18, 2011

Hook & Jill

Andrea Jones
Reginetta Press, 2009

I have recently read Hook & Jill, Andrea Jones' wonderful novel. This is a small review for probably the best book I've read this year. I'm already lobbying the Houston Public Library System to add it to our collection and I plan on loaning my copy to anyone I can sit on to make read it. It's THAT good.

Exceptionally well crafted, this book is the story of Peter Pan as we’ve not seen. Rather than seeing the tale from a child’s eyes, we see it with maturity, and that leads the story to a very dark place. Andrea Jones takes us there, and with a sensual prose style that is almost poetic, we feel this story as much as we see it in words.

Peter Pan, a child, rules over his band of followers like a child. He’s a conceited, handsome, charming, selfish tyrant. At times he is generous, capricious, sweet, arrogant and cruel. His greatest law: Never Grow Up. Yet, he is not all powerful. Even Peter Pan cannot stop time, even in Neverland where time is malleable. So, what happens to those who grow up? And what is the price for those who want to?

Andrea Jones spins these ideas, turns Pan’s black and white, simplistic world into a place of complexity, questions and self determination. Wendy is the true heroine here, the first to discover that a mother not only watches over and cares for her boys, but helps them grow. That she must not only try to protect them from dangers without, but also within. She then sees the truth that love is a mature emotion, something Peter will never understand. Wendy not only decides to grow up, she embraces it.

Captain Hook is the catalyst for widening the scope. The Pirate King is a man, not a boy, and he sees things through the maturity of an adult. He can see that as bright and innocent as Peter’s world is, it has no choice but to become stagnant and confining. He knows far more about Wendy that she can imagine, and wants to bring her to her full power. To create her own story, and by doing so, create her own self.

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