Back when I was in school, I vividly remember reading a book about a patchwork quilt. The details still stored in my brain are thus:
A child is fascinated with a quilt and each square patch provides a mini adventure for the narrator. I believe the adventures were completely in the mind of the child, as opposed to actually being trapped in the quilt.
One section fascinated me above all, a tunnel was the particular patchwork picture this time, and the child is walking through it. It’s dark and footsteps echo loudly, they sound like someone following, paranoia strikes and some running towards the light at the end of the tunnels follows ensues.
As I remembered those specifics as well as I did, it must still be worth a reread just for that specific section, and so at every opportunity I trawl lots of charity shops, market stalls, libraries, and of course bookshops on a quest to enjoy my bit of nostalgia.
Years pass, and after many children’s sections in plenty of bookshops. I finally thought I had come across the book in a shop in Washington state called Adventures Underground. The title of The Patchwork Quilt made sense, the cover was familiar from my school days and I was blown away to have found it in the first bookshop I visited in America. Not counting the airport bookshops which are always less than stellar, and feel a bit like being on international ground too.
Leafing through the book, it quickly turned out that I was mistaken, completely mistaken. This was not the book I remember. My good fortune turned to disappointment, which later turned to happiness as I wandered through the rest of the shop and enjoyed the diverse range of books on offer, especially the old local books.
Now, years later the trauma has subsided, and with seemingly less chance to source the book than ever, I wonder, did I conflate two books together? Perhaps I have been chasing a misapprehension all this time, or maybe I will know it when I eventually come across it. On a happier note, hunting for the book has given me the opportunity to discover books such as The Coral Island (review to come soon), and Bow Island, as well as other books not involving islands.