Sunday, 3 February 2008

Over Sea, Under Stone

Finally! 20 years after hearing about this book, I FINALLY read it!!! and it was worth it. A very enjoyable children's fantasy, first in a series of five books. I have to go buy the others now, which I will do. I thoroughly enjoyed the Arthurian context, the mystery, the sense of menace, the setting in Cornwall, the children themselves. This book reminded me very much of Enid Blyton's books, the Adventurous Four, the Famous Five, all of which I devoured as a child. I can hardly wait to read these to my children when they get old enough to listen!! That's how much fun they are, and quick to read, and a great introduction to the basic Arthur - the grail, and the legends in Cornwall and a hint of the knights of the Round Table. Yes, I will be buying the other books as soon as I can find them. This book is one of five under the general title 'The Dark is Rising', won the Newbery Medal. I can see why. It is good writing, and by this I mean the characterization, the dialogue, and the description especially are so good, so well-written, that I can see the village and seaside, the wind on my hair, hear the sea on the rocks. And yes, I'd like to be there, too! There is an economy in her descriptions, a clarity - she doesn't waste words, she uses the perfect word to capture the scene. I found myself wondering what has happened to our writing lately, that this kind of clarity is missing. Or, perhaps I haven't read enough award-winning books!

So, the New York Giants won the Superbowl! We had it on in the background while I dozed and finished Over Sea, Under Stone. I'm getting another cold and feel sick and lousy, so couldn't do much this evening once the kids had their bath. I'm not sure I can even pick the next book to read, so until tomorrow then, Gentle Reader.

Oh - and as for Becoming Jane, the movie on PBS tonight?? Forget it. I've read her biography, and I'm not interested in a movie guessing about her motives for turning down the man she agreed to marry, because Jane herself did not leave anything in writing that says why. We only have conjecture, and what her siblings have said - family history/memory sort of thing. Jane herself, if she ever said exactly why, did not leave any copies for posterity. As she was already writing before she was asked to marry, my guess has been that she did not love him enough to give up what she had at home, even though she knew that she was risking much by becoming a spinster and burden on her family. Whatever happened that night after she agreed to marry him, no movie can ever capture. Anyway, if any of you Gentle Readers did see it, drop me a line and let me know if it was worth seeing.



And, as my Long-Suffering Spouse pointed out earlier today, next week - Colin Firth as Mr Darcy! Yes!!!!! One week to go....

10 comments:

Table Talk said...

The other four books are far better than 'Over Sea Under Stone'. I am so jealous of your having the chance to read them for the first time; you are in for such a treat. I have a copy of 'Becoming Jane' that a friend lent me and that I much watch this week and get back to her. I'll let you know what I think.

Lady P said...

Hey sis, having computer problems; I posted as such on my blog. I will be back to drop in and say hi once it is fixed. I hate the things when they don t work!!

Finished Persuasion by the way. It was a very good book...now I will read it again because I do not often read old English and am a bit rusty. She certainly knew how to write about romance didn t she. (wrong language on keyboard, can t change it right now)

Eva said...

The movie didn't speculate too much (although the preview made it look that way)-it was more like, "Hmmm? I wonder why?" and looking at what her life was like afterwards. I haven't read any biographies of her, so I don't know how accurate it was, but I really enjoyed watching it (and I was expecting to hate it).

Lady P said...

I didn't see the movie "Becoming Jane" on PBS last night however I did see the one at theatres. It was an excellent movie. Watch that one for its beauty. It is only food for thought because, as you pointed out, no one really knows the reasons she never married.

Susan said...

thanks for all your comments! I might try the Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway - the movie release from last year, sometime. Meantime, I have picked up book 2 in Susan' Cooper's series, and have ordered book 3....I think RADD is about to hit again!!

Princess Kris said...

Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher are the authors. One of the books is The Kindling. And I wil be deleting my blog shortly. I just find that I donèt have enough time for it anymore.

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