It starts off with a disfigured man living in an estate, cut off from the rest of the world. Through his memories, you get the feeling that this story takes place in the past and that he’s lack of connection with the outside world is as much because of his upbringing as it is because he does not want people to see his scars. Engel, a housekeeper, is sent by his long estranged sister to take care of him.
Then, one day, a baby is found on the doorstep. Then a boy arrives. And, slowly, but surely, dozens of children mysteriously appear on the estate. Each is welcomed in the home, but as more and more arrive, the story slowly becomes stranger. It seems to morph into a fairy tale: some of the children seem to have appeared out of thin air, and the children seem to be hidden most of the time, showing up just as their company is wanted. Strange artifacts are found in the house. The children exhibit strange behaviours (never scary, just odd).
There is a lot of foreshadowing about the outside world suggesting that maybe this story is taking place in the near a future, one that might be post-apocalyptic or at least dangerous. When we’re finally taken out of the estate grounds, the story goes from odd to outright weird. It’s creepy, a bit confusing, and never really fully explained.
But, despite being left a bit confused and wanting more answers, I loved the book. It was unique, well written, intriguing and utterly enthralling.