Synopsis (from amazon.co.uk):
I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;
I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.
(The Child Ballads, 295)
So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crowsbalances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.
Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.
Why I can’t wait to read A Pocketful of Crows:
- Steeleye Span sung the song on Rocket Cottage (1976). My love of folk music made me increasingly aware of the Child ballads. For children they ain’t – the songs were collected in the 1800s by Francis James Child. Think faeries and unfaithful lovers and vengeful spirits.
- A faerie in the human word? Sold. I love the interpretation of humans as tamed things. We live in a world of rules and order, yet we’re damaging the world on an unprecedented scale. There’s not a huge amount to go on in the synopsis, so this is my interpretation, but I’m already interested in the potential conflicts.
- The doctor said he haid a broken heart /Without me he would die…
The persona in the rhyme is unashamedly vengeful. Are we going to side with the persona? If so, I want to know what the antagonist has done. Something huge must happen, if the reader is going to side with someone bent of revenge.
- I read several Joanne Harris books as a teenager. My favourites are Gentleman and Players and Chocolat. Both books have a dark undertone. In Chocolat, it makes the world seem more magical than it initially appears. In Gentleman and Players, it becomes a threat. I can’t wait to see how this tone translates into something gothic.
- It’s the folklore again, but crows are a favourite motif. What can I say?
A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris