The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace (broadcast 5-6-2013) Daniel Wallace once again brings to the reader a tale of what it is to be human demonstrated by playing out a story in a setting of magic and mystery. The town of Roam comes into being after Elijah McCallister kidnaps Ming Kai to this country in order to learn the secret of making silk and found a financial empire. From tramping a wilderness in search of mulberry trees he takes us generations later to a time when two sisters are born into a Roam that harbors as many ghosts as live inhabitants and the prosperity of the town is a thing of the past.
One of the girls became blind when she was three years old and when the parents die and the sisters are 11 and 18, the older sister becomes the caretaker of the younger one. In the process she creates her own version of reality for her sister binding her to a limited fiction of what is possible. But when Rachel runs away when she is 18 to free her sister of being burdened with her the story widens to include all the descendants and the ghosts of the town’s history.
Fantastic and surreal the characters, the setting and the denouement leaves a sense of having been somewhere that you would like to go back to and examine more closely for what it might teach you. You might get some taste of that by going to www.danielwallace.org.