'The House With Chicken Legs' is a wonderfully imaginative and thrilling adventure, based on Russian folklore. It absolutely deserves its recent nominations for Waterstones Book of the Year and the National Book Awards. It was such a discovery to find last year and read while I was on paternity with my first child. Its a book with its own legs: it takes you off on a brilliant ride.
Marinka and her grandmother live in a house that moves; it has chicken legs, of course. Marinka's grandmother is a Baga Yaga, responsible for guiding the spirits of the dead to the beyond. Unfortunately Marinka will have to do the same one day, but she decides to chart her own course. The house, though, has other ideas.
Sophie Anderson has crafted a beautiful story with depth, flair and heart. With such an absurd title I expected the story to be ridiculous. But it's more than that: it's about being alive and what it means to die. It's about realizing your place and responsibilities towards greater values. Quite simply, 'The House with Chicken Legs' is a refreshing and challenging tale which will stay with you for weeks.
I'm really looking forward to what Sophie Anderson will write next!