waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris

61ngg1dg9sl-_sx332_bo1204203200_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

Gollancz

October 2017

 

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