Book Review | The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Rene Denfeld
Trade Paperback , 233 pages
Publication date:
March 4th 2014


“Why. Because you love me?” His voice is snide. “Because you care?”

“No.” She feels her voice turn into a calm river.

“Why, then?”

“It’s my job.” (p.56)

Rene Denfeld’s The Enchanted is one of those books that has much of hype around it and is usually not the type of book that I would pick up myself. In the majority of cases when I do read it despite those two things, I usually end up feeling disappointed. Fortunately for me this was not the case this time.

With a writing style that can only be described as mesmerizing, Denfeld brings you into the world of one prison from the perspectives of numerous key players in this “enchanted” place. We get to meet characters like the warden who comes off as an extremely sympathetic character, a female death penalty investigator, jailers and guards in the prison, a fallen priest and we even get a glimpse into the minds of some of the extremely dangerous inmates in the prison. All have their own justifications for their actions and although you may not agree with their views you can sort of understand where they’re coming, even though you may not necessarily accept or agree or condone their behaviour.

What’s mainly interesting is how the entire story while showing how life is for all these characters is actually narrated by a single mysterious and somewhat omniscient narrator; whose identity is only revealed to the readers closer to the end of the novel. The Enchanted has all the makings of a modern classic, and I love that while it touches on several dark subjects such as drugs, murder, rape and death, there is also a sense of some light, justice, and hope throughout. Everyone has the potential to do awful or nice things, and the setting of this book definitely brings this notion to light. Overall, while this book is not one of my all-time favourite books it is however definitely an incredibly memorable and moving book that will stay with me for an extraordinarily long time as it captivated me throughout and had me holding my breath until the last page.

 “Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen–to hear–so that someday we might find words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening.” (p. 223)

If you like this book, you’ll love:  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.


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