This morning I finished reading “The Messenger of Magnolia Street” by River Jordan for the second time. It is one of my very favorite books, a tale of supernatural things happening to ordinary people in the southern town of Shibboleth.
According to my GoodReads log of books, I read this originally in 2008. I’m not sure why I had a hankering to read it again, but I sought it out at the library and am pleased that I did so. I discovered on the re-read that the author uses what I call second-person omniscient point of view (POV) to tell the story. It’s the point of view I used in writing my final Greenville story, called “Revelation.” It’s a strange mix of second-person and third-person POV and not necessarily the easiest to pull off well. River Jordan, however, does it beautifully in “The Messenger of Magnolia Street.”
You never get to “see” the character telling the story, but it appears to be a recording angel, tasked with taking notes on all that is happening to the other characters in the book. This angel keeps addressing the reader throughout the book, which is where the second-person POV comes into play, but also knows everything that is going on with all the characters (it is an angel, after all), which is a third-person POV characteristic.
This POV is so unusual I can’t think of another book that uses it. Readers, do you know of any other novels that use second-person omniscient point of view? If so, let me know in the comments.