The Winged Child - a review...

Another review of my favorite literary Child (the winged one). This assessment comes from writer and visual artist, Sharon Clabo, who works not far south from here, in Lizella, Georgia.

Genre-defying Cutting Edge Thought 

Henry Mitchell's newest novel, The Winged Child, defies classification, choosing instead to marry cutting-edge science with an intriguing and fantastical sort of "otherness," a potent and nutritious stew of important ideas presented in the form of an original and intriguing novel. 

In the book, Present, Past, and Future are shown as separable only in our minds, when in fact they exist all of a piece; in other words, the present, past, and future are "one," a refrain that is often repeated in the book by a songbird. 

To this reader, the book's many layers can be seen as interrelated learning experiences, lessons necessary before any sentient being can even begin to arrive at its ultimate destiny, or what some might choose to call "the other side" or some higher level of existence. And one of the more important lessons for humans and other beings to learn is that plants are not only as alive as we are, but very likely more so, hence the introduction in the novel of the relatively new science of neurobotany. Plants have language, feelings, and as yet undiscovered qualities that render them capable of communicating with each other as well as with humans and other beings, providing those beings can manage to develop the sensitivity required (or to recognize that all is one). 

The characters are all beautifully developed and have faults as well as strengths, even Wendl, a shapeshifting dragon, or Puca, a being that can present itself as whatever it chooses. The Appalachian language is a character too, as are the mountains, hollows, streams, rivers, trees, and climate. 

The book has a complex and powerful vision that runs deep and far and wide and is unafraid to tackle big issues whether political, historical, or psychological, nor is it afraid to fly. Other dimensions are real, the book tells us and they overlap, and though they may seem incomprehensible to us more often than not, if we are very still maybe we can know them and know they are one. 

The Winged Child is an important work of art and I feel fortunate to have read it. It is a book I will read many times and that's the most I can say about any book."

-Sharon Clabo


  1. Sharon, I just finished it...finally. I took my time absorbing Henry's fantastical indefinable levels of imagination. Your review was perfect in your description of his story.

    Tim Parris


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