These are powerful, beautiful fantasy books that tell the story of what happens when two ordinary siblings, Susan and Colin, become entangled with ancient magic. My husband pretty much worships Alan Garner, and these two books, with their strong sense of the old magic of a particular piece of England (Alderley Edge) are very dear to him. But I only read The Moon of Gomrath once, which means, inveterate re-reader that I am, that I didn't love it. Why? Because of the ending, which I shan't spoil, but which left me frustrated as all get out. Deeply, deeply, unforgivably so.
Now, at last, my frustration will be ended (unless this third book ends in way that frustrates me all over again!)
Alan Garner had felt at one point that there would be a third book, as he explains in this interview from 1989 (which is absolutely must reading for anyone interested in British fantasy. Really truly must reading).
"At one stage, before beginning The Moon of Gomrath, I thought it was a trilogy. By the time I'd finished The Moon of Gomrath, however, I knew it was time for me to be moving on. There was no need for me to write that third book. But there is, lurking within The Moon of Gomrath, the idea that something else is going to happen. And there is. There's a third book, which I shall never write. I couldn't write it now if I wanted to, because it wouldn't match. One changes."
And happily, he changed again.
Lifting shamelessly from the Guardian article that alerted me to this new book:
"In Boneland, Colin is a professor who spends his days at Jodrell Bank [shown at right] "using the radio telescope to look for his lost sister in the Pleiades. At night, he is on Alderley Edge, watching", said Garner's publisher. "At the same time, and in another time, the Watcher cuts the rock and blows bulls on the stone with his blood, and dances, to keep the sky above the earth and the stars flying."
The adult Colin can remember nothing from his life before the age of 13, and afterwards he remembers everything, from every minute of every hour of every day. "Colin can't remember; and he remembers too much," said Fourth Estate. "And then, finally, a new force enters his life, a therapist who might be able to unlock what happened to him when he was 12, what happened to his sister. But Colin will have to remember quickly, to find his sister. And the Watcher will have to find the Woman. Otherwise the skies will fall, and there will be only winter, wanderers and moon …"I'm looking forward not only to this new book, but also to the required re-reading of the first two--I wonder what I will find in them, an older and wiser (?) reader. And I can't wait to find out what an older, and doubtless wiser, Alan Garner has in store for me now.
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine