Huzzah! Let joy be unconfined! My Bookish Mystery has been solved.
Yesterday evening – as a direct result of my blog appeal for help in tracing a book I knew I’d read as a little girl, but whose author and title I’d long forgotten – I got a message which said: ‘Is this it?’
It was, dear readers. It was.
The book is called Marianne Dreams, and the author – who sadly died in 2001 – was Catherine Storr. Embarrassingly, the book now has its own Wikipedia page and everything; if I’d just run another Google search, I probably could have found it myself. I hadn’t actually looked for it for a few years, since long before the age of Wikipedia and the excellent Google that we have now. But no matter.
The book that has haunted me for nearly thirty years has been tracked down.
I found a reissued edition from 2006 which is still in print, and I’ve already ordered it from my favourite bookshop, which also happens to be the place in which I used to work as a bookseller. They’re used to me and my oddnesses there. I cannot wait to have this story in my hands again, and I cannot wait to read it and see whether the terrifying power it had over my brain as a kid is still there.
I am so excited.
I remember this illustration, in particular – it was always the top right-hand window of the house in the drawing that made me quiver inside, and it was this image that convinced me the right book had been found.
That’s the window to the room where Mark – a little boy, not a little girl, as I’d remembered – is being held captive by the power of the standing stones all around. I wasn’t mixing it up with Penelope Lively, after all; there was a stone circle in this book, too. Perhaps there’s hope for my aged memory banks yet.
Anyway. Thank you to everyone who retweeted my appeal and offered suggestions, and I’ll let y’all know in a few weeks whether the book is as good as, or better than, I remembered.
It also, in all likelihood, hasn’t escaped your notice that today is Friday. That means – yesirree – it’s Flash! Friday again. This week, the required element to include was ‘Space Travel’, and the prompt image was this fine photograph here:
So, this is what I made of it:
Dan didn’t bother hailing; his words just boomed right through my skull, out of nowhere. I adjusted the volume on my CochliCall as he spoke.
‘Nico!’ he said. ‘Where are you?’
‘Oh, hey, Dan. Thanks for yelling.’
‘Shut up, and get over here. It’s happening!’
‘But – this early?’
Dan just tssked, and disconnected.
I had to think fast. Dad – working. Mom, offworld. Dan and me had sworn, as kids, that we’d watch the landing together, and I was going to keep my promise.
But that didn’t solve my immediate problem – transport.
Then, I remembered. Great-great-gramp’s bike!
I skidded to the garage. Dad kept it in good nick, for nostalgia’s sake, but I’d never learned how to operate it. I did my best.
As I rode, I watched the sky. Earth Omega was beautiful, and all, but I couldn’t wait to see Earth Alpha. Our origin planet, long abandoned.
I smiled, pedalling faster. Maybe now, we could finally start going home.
So, that’s where I’m at this Friday morning – dreaming of worlds unknown, some of them made from words. I hope a wonderful day awaits you all.