As soon as she arrives in Wellow, Polly Flint knows there is magic in the place. And she should know, because she is an unusual girl who can see things others can’t. She seems to be able to call up a village that had disappeared from the face of the earth – and the people who lived in it, as they slip in and out of time.
Helen Cresswell was a staple of my childhood back in the day, this book, and Moondial were both wonderful and their accompanying TV shows were just as compelling. Not only did Helen Cresswell create compelling stories but she was a local author, and set this story in the grounds of Rufford Abbey, a place I last went to last Christmas, and had at least three school trips to, as well.
The story is crammed full with so many wonderful ideas, especially for the minds of children. There is a feeling of history, tradition passed down – the inherent idea of magic that lurks behind so much of it – and of the weight of time and our participation in it.
Time plays a huge part in the book, both as a barrier, and a contributor to the sense of dislocation felt throughout, but also to the passing of days and the rhythm of the seasons. It seems as important for Polly to understand what isn’t there and exists, as it is to interpret what is present and can be seen. Continue reading “The Secret World of Polly Flint – Helen Cresswell”
The power of community once again comes through! Yesterday I shared my experiences with a book memory I had – or thought I had – and the subsequent adventures in tracking the possibly mythical book down.
Having thought the story too obscure to be well-remembered, or at least the clues given, too little to go on, it was surprising when, less than a day later this suggestion came through the comments.
It’s a massive thank you to Liz who found this book, primarily based on the mentioning of a scary tunnel. After watched a reading of the book (below) on YouTube, It’s more than likely that this is indeed the one I have been seeking.
Although it doesn’t tally up exactly with what I remember, the memory is undoubtedly embellished after all the other books since read. Not only that but the chances of two tunnels in two patchwork quilts isn’t going to be statistically high. Continue reading “Patching the Clues Together”
A comment from Victoria – on recent post A Pound of Paper – about a book she was trying to remember the title of, got me thinking about my own quest for a book from yesteryear that remains an enigma.
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. Continue reading “Book Memory…or imagined?”
Thorgil is an adventurer, a young boy whose heart is out at sea. When his father tells him of his plan to set sail to return to Norway, Thorgil is determined to follow his dreams. This is a story about adventure and never returning home.Schoolboy Thomas loves his geography teacher – with tales of the Bounty Ship and inspiring paintings by Gauguin, his imagination is set free and he gets curious. However, one day in class, the teacher is taken away from school and Thomas is curious to find out where he is.Jorgen is a bright boy but due to financial difficulties, can’t get the education he wants. The fisherman life it is for him and later settles down with a family. One day the winds cause havoc in the sky and change things for him; this is a tale of loss and greed. The finale in the short stories brings to you the tale of Toby, the cheeky dog, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face…
I really tried to make this book last, honest! Having adored the other three Wind books, and greedily devoured them, this one should have been one to savour. One sitting later and I was once again closing a book utterly enchanted with the stories, and also a little sad that I couldn’t experience them again for the first time.
The initial story, Grapes of Love was, I futilely promised myself, the one story I would limit myself to that day. It tells of the many types of passing; of ideas, and of time, passing into maturity, and of the people whom we meet through life. The mysteries of the heart and the world are explored and all of this is wrapped up in a good dollop of Norse history, which always conjures up dramatic imagery.
Continue to read and think
After that story the ‘just one more, and then I will leave the others’ excuse came into play. Windward was my absolute favourite tale of the book. It’s another delve into history but is this time much more international. The reader gets to explore not only the globe but also the themes of escape, freedom and consequences, and how choice – or lack of it – can have major repercussions on life. Continue reading “South of the South Wind – Nils-Johan Jørgensen”
After a long, long wait thanks to shenanigans at the local Post Office, I finally have my hands on two new books, kindly sent by authors from England and The United States, respectively. If there is anything to get me back to blogging again, then these packages will certainly be the catalyst.
First off, South of the South Wind is a children’s book that I am very excited to read. Long time readers will know that I have been enchanted with the other books in the series and so this one is, for me a must read. At first glance the book has changed publisher and therefore style, it also smells really good. In the back, there are reviews for some of Nils-Johan’s other books and an excerpt of my review for West of the West Wind is in there, much to my excitement. This has shamelessly been shown off to anybody who came to our house in the last week.
Ocean Echoes came, most probably, the other way around the globe, making me the filling in a book sandwich. Fellow blogger Sheila Hurst sent this and I am now officially the furthest place her book has been sent to, beating both Serbia and the Maldives. The book smells differently, but equally good and the back cover tells the reader that: a percentage from the sale of this book will go toward nonprofit organizations working to protect the world’s oceans for future generations. Once again showing how books can and do make a difference, and how independent authors seek to not only tell a good story (and make a bit of money), but also do their part in highlighting and helping with wider issues.
It’s Monday and catching up on the YouTube I follow after a few day’s absence was predictably depressing. There was a ‘woke’ BBC sketch (this is the BBC that has admitted it would never commission something like Monty Python these days) that has been doing the rounds recently which was mildly amusing – at best – but (and although I don’t always agree with him) this Jonathan Pie tirade really gets the message across in a much more forceful way.
It’s a much-needed rant and I believe he speaks for many sane people on the subject, just with more expletives. We only get one life, we should concentrate on saving the culture as well as the physical planet. It would be great to hold all these virtue signallers to account and mock them mercilessly – as nobody has the right not to be offended – but if you notice, more and more websites are disabling or deleting comments that echo Mr Pie’s…funny that.