Guest Author - Laura Lehman
Ray Bradbury’s short story "Homecoming," first appeared in the October 1946 issue of Mademoiselle magazine and told the tale of the Elliots, an outlandish clan of good natured creatures and their adopted son Timothy. Bradbury has published just five other stories about the Elliots and in From the Dust Returned he weaves these original tales with newer chapters and an overall storyline. The Family, a group of misfits, ghosts, the undead, vampires and other creatures, come together to face their possible extinction at the hands of modern disbelief.
There is Cecy, who sleeps most of the time so she can travel in the outside world and experience everything vicariously. Father sleeps during the day in the basement. A Thousand Times Great Grandmere is a pharaoh’s daughter, a mummy who tells Timothy how the house came to be and the family was drawn to it. Uncle Einar is a great winged creature who eventually loses his ability to fly. Timothy is the odd one in the family. He was found on the doorstep and Mother, who casts no reflection, took him in. Although he wants desperately to be like the others, he is merely human.
From the Dust Returned is full of the poetic prose that Bradbury is famous for. As always, he explores human nature. The need to find others like ourselves and to belong is an overall theme in this novel. Everyone who comes the House may or may not be related, but they become a family. He also explores the power of belief. The family is endangered because modern society doesn’t believe in things unseen anymore.
While I enjoyed this novel, I don’t think this is Bradbury’s best work. I had trouble following the first few chapters and the overall flow was not as smooth as I expects. The chapters, while each beautifully written and wonderful to read by themselves, read a little awkwardly as a whole. This is definitely a good read for any Bradbury fan, but those looking for an introduction to Bradbury’s work Should try a different novel. My Suggestions: Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Illustrated Man
From the Dust Returned
I borrowed From the Dust Returned from the library