Mr Splitfoot Is Nearly Unexplainable



You've probably seen reviews of Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt around the internet. I did too, and still managed to not quite understand what it was about. There's a good reason for that. It is so unusual.

There are two timelines. One is set in the past, where Ruth and Nat lived in a home for children called Love of Christ! Foster Home run by a nutter who keeps the kids until they're eighteen then promptly kicks them out. They stave off boredom by pretending to speak to the dead. The other children are convinced their powers are real. One day a professional con man named Mr Bell approaches Ruth and Nat with a business proposition. Since both are about to "age out" of the system, they take this opportunity as a way to set themselves up for the rest of their lives. Of course things don't go as planned.

In the present day, Ruth's niece Cora finds herself pregnant by a married man. She's contemplating what to do when Ruth shows up, unwilling to speak, but anxious. She convinces Cora to go with her- to where Cora has no idea. The pair start a road trip that appears to have no purpose, until everything comes together further in the book.

Maybe that doesn't seem that complicated but it is. There are weird events and people that they encounter. There are cults, and con men, and even ghosts. There is social commentary.
People stare at us while we walk, human females traveling alone. We must want to die or else we must be criminals, because we are two full-grown women walking together, single file, not talking, on busy roads, on back roads. No one would mistake us for exercising housewives. Certainly not any of the men who leer and jeer and ask creepy questions like, "Where are you heading tonight?" 
Cora narrates her part of this story, while some omnipresent narrator (I could never figure out if it was Cora) tells the reader what happens to Ruth in the past. It makes it easy to figure out where we are when the chapters begin.

I loved Ruth with her scar and her dreams. I loved Cora, who is just coasting along. Neither has an easy life, but their difficulties are unique to them.

Mr Splitfoot is strange and funny, heartwarming and heartbreaking. I'm still thinking about the end. You should really read it!

Mr. Splitfoot

7 comments:

  1. I've only seen a few reviews and they've all been positive but I'm still not sure this is for me.

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  2. YAYYYY! So glad it worked for you. I loved it so much and definitely want to read more of Hunt's work.

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  3. I heard from many that it's an odd read. I wasn't sure from the beginning of your post if you enjoyed it or not but I see now that you did. You're right, it doesn't sound all that odd from what you shared but my friend couldn't even tell me in a sentence what the premise was.

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  4. The title of your post is so fitting! It is fun we basically read it at the same time. :)

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  5. Having read the book I think you've summed it up really well. Sounds like you got more out of it than me too, I just couldn't get away with it,

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  6. I think reading the end messed this book up for me -- words you will probably never hear me say again! I enjoyed it, but I thinking the surprise of the ending might well have kicked it over into love. We'll never know! :p

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  7. I'm glad you liked this! And I still can't read Love of Christ! without yelling it in my head haha. And I completely agree with you that it's unexplainable - I think it definitely needs multiple readings before you can unpick the all the bits and pieces of it.

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