Title: Orange Petals in a Storm
Author: Dr Niamh Clune
I picked this book up when I was searching for a definition of metaphysical fiction, and found an article by the author. I was impressed with her writing so I bought the book, and I’m very glad that I did.
Orange Petals in a Storm is the story of an eleven year old girl who has been mistreated by her stepfather since her mother’s death one year ago. On an external level, it’s a simple story about her life turning around, but it’s the inner world that gives this story its magic.
To handle the abuse, the girl sits in an old chair—all that she has left of her mother—and withdraws into her mental ‘safe room’. There, she meets the human male version of the cat that saves her when she runs away and nearly freezes to death in a storm. With him—and sometimes an old woman—as her guide she travels the web of light that makes up the connections of the inner world. The confidence and wisdom she gains from her inner travels empowers her actions in the outer world.
The inner experiences are too detailed and beautifully written for me to do them any justice in a description. It’s better you simply read the story yourself.
The book is expertly crafted, the prose beautiful and the characters well drawn. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in magical realism, metaphysical or visionary fiction.
Here is Clune’s definition of metaphysical fiction. It’s exactly what you’ll find in this book.
“Modern metaphysical/visionary literature often crosses genres and enters into the little celebrated field of magic realism. In this genre, the supernatural is part of tangible reality; spirit and nature are interwoven, inseparable, and unquestioned, and the extraordinary is made ordinary. Metaphysical literature tells tales of the inner life. Usually these tales are told simply, in prose that reaches to express the beauty inherent in us and in the world about us. Its task is to give voice to soul and its yearning to transcend the suffering of everyday reality.”