I remember having to read this book in high school as part of English class. I checked the book out from the library and struggled through the first few pages. In preparation for the exam I read the Sparknotes Study Guide and watched the movie from start to finish (the image of the rabid dog is clear in my mind).
I passed the exam without reading more than 10 pages max.
Did a bit of a premonition draw me to this book?
I began reading my 22nd book late in my pregnancy when it was starting to get real. Being my second baby, I had all the usual concerns: was spare time for me now a thing of the past? would I ever get to write or read again? how was I going to share my love between two kids? would my three-year-old son like the baby at all?
And then there was the thought that this baby could be a girl and (terror!) how would I go being a mum to a girl, when up until then, I’d always seen myself as a boy’s mum?
Granted, being a mum to girls in the 1860s would probably be just a little different to my own experience but I thought I’d give it a go. Thought I’d finally read this classic tale that so many people (everyone, apparently… please read on) seemed to know about but one that I’d never tackled before.
This book hooked me from the very first page and I couldn’t put it down. When I wasn’t reading, I’d think about it all day. And when I was reading, I’d be drawn into the story, oblivious to what was going on around me. I felt guilty that I was neglecting my family!
Luckily it was all over in just 6 days. That’s almost a record for my 100 book challenge. Beaten only by Catcher in the Rye, which had a similar effect on me and took just 5 days to finish.
If it wasn’t for one small thing, I’d have given it a perfect 10 out of 10.
One thousand, three hundred and twenty-four days have passed since Maggie last went out in the boat.
Every day she comes down and sits silently in the grounded boat, now mossy and falling apart. Sometimes she cries.
One thousand, three hundred and twenty-four days ago her husband died. Oh, how they’d laughed and spent many a wonderful afternoon floating around in that little wooden boat.
Maggie watches Jim and Florence nearby, pushing their boat into the water. They’re arguing about where the ropes should go. Jim raises his voice, Florence rolls her eyes. They don’t realise how lucky they are.
Friday Fictioneers is a challenge set by Rochelle each week where writers from around the world post 100 word stories based on a common photo prompt. For more information, and to read other stories, visit Rochelle’s page here.
I knew it was going to be a struggle.
When I flicked to the last page and noted the page number (562) I let out an audible groan. It was a long book in a genre that didn’t interest me one bit and it was going to take a whole lot of willpower to get through.
Dune – I finally took on a classic sci-fi
How did I manage to get through my childhood without reading this book?
The Secret Garden was published in 1911 and is about a spoiled little English girl (Mary), born in India but sent back to England to live with her uncle when she suddenly becomes an orphan. Mary becomes intrigued when she hears a story of a secret garden that’s been locked up for ten years, and as expected, the story follows her search and (*spoiler alert*) discovery of the garden.
The main characters drive this story and stop it from becoming cliche or predictable. There’s one boy I love (Dickon) and another boy I can’t stand (Colin), but Mary manages to find qualities in both.
You will even love the red robin – trust me
Our lovely writers group have been lucky enough to have a short radio documentary made about us by ABC Open Producer Anthony Scully.
Anthony came along to the Hunter Story Creators group last night and asked questions about writing, writing groups and sharing successes (yes, there was champagne). Anthony has been an incredible supporter of our writers group since the beginning, and he plays a key role in getting local stories heard from all across the Hunter.
It aired this morning at 9:50am, and you can listen to the full SoundCloud piece here: