Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thursbitch ~ Alan Garner

I have been meaning to read Thursbitch for quite some time, but as I had read somewhere that it was difficult to read it made its way to the back of my list. When I finally got it from the library I was astonished to see that it was only 158 pages long.

I will ignore references to ‘difficult reads’ in future as I may never have bothered with this fantastic little novella.  It was wonderful, I couldn't put it down, and I wished so much that I was there in the valley of Thursbitch, which was brought to life so vividly by Garner.

Thursbitch Ruins
There are two intersecting narratives, one set in the 18th century and another set in the present day.  At first the reader is tantalised by a mystery – in 1755 a packman by the name of John Turner is found dead in a snow storm with the print of a woman’s shoe by his side. Then we are introduced to Ian and Sal, who we believe are married, or are lovers, as they trek through Thursbitch discussing the geological formations.  We are tantalised by the names of the standing stones, the eerie atmosphere, and unexplained sights and sounds.  As the story progresses, you find yourself turning back to the first few pages to read them again and it all starts to make sense; though Ian and Sal are not what you thought they were, and the reason why they return to the valley leaves an emotional charge which is very affecting.

I loved the way this was written, the dialogue for the scenes set in the 18th Century are written in the local Cheshire dialect of the time, and the dialogue between Ian and Sal feels so natural and real it’s not like you are reading a novel at all.

Outstanding, I loved it!


No comments:

Post a Comment