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Well, I kind of knew it was going to be an unusual funeral last Saturday, when we finally managed to squeeze into the beautiful, small All Saints Church in Raheny to hear "As so many of you will have missed it while trying to get in, Jacinta will now sing the 'Ave Maria' again for us all."  Not unusual in most churches in Ireland, perhaps, but in a Church of Ireland one?  Decidedly.  Much more importantly, it was one of the most moving funerals I've ever attended.  Along this lines:

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
(Raymond Carver, "Late Fragment")

Still feeling all over the place, and have left gaps in LJ and blog reading which may have to remain gaps now, as I can't imagine I'd manage to wade through the read posts in order to get back to older unread ones (Bloglines - down to 450-some unread!).  So if I've not replied to something I should have, please forgive the unintentional ignoring, which really is unintentional.

First two books of 2008 couldn't have been more dissimilar - well, given that they're both fiction, in English, and for children/teens - and yet could both be called historical fiction.  The two are Philip Reeve's Starcross (2007) and Hilda Lewis' Harold Was My King (1968). Before putting the usual babbling about the two behind a cut, I want to quote from the letter to the dedicatee of Harold Was My King - presumably her grandson (after I'd looked up her dates, [personal profile] steepholm lifted my fog by pointing out that Daniel Lewis could hardly have been her son).
In this tale the character of the Conqueror and his deeds are drawn largely from old manuscripts.  Some of them were written by Normans, some by Englishmen; so you can understand that William will appear in a different light according to whether the writer is Norman or English.
[........]

One day you will, very likely, read the old chronicles for yourself and make up your own mind.


Will try to get in at least one more book talk before (HOPEFULLY) heading off to Bristol on Thursday.  Last year's attempt to get there for [personal profile] steepholm's birthday ended in sorrow (mine), A&E and vomiting (Older Daughter's), so I'm more nervous than normal even, which is saying a lot...
lady_schrapnell: (Bell)
Guess it only works if you know there IS a book of that name, and furthermore, that I've just read it and loved it, despite the shameless willingness to use the title for my own self-centred purposes...

So. Older Daughter moved out on Tuesday, and in keeping with Ode* family traditions, we had one minor crisis after another (including dying computers eating her latest story-in-progress, usual agent/landlord nonsense, dead phone (mine) eating increasingly desperate texts from her and serious glitches getting money to the landlord) before she went. All eventually sorted and I would so have made it through her getting into the taxi without crying had she not got sad first. All right, admittedly she FIRST said 'I'm going to miss Bell so much - I'm not sure I want to go now!' (Bell being our hound, for newer readers - userpic in honour of this moment). But I could have lost it much worse, and was well touched by getting a text from her en route saying 'I love ya! So many emotions vying for precedence!' Never let Them convince you that mobile phones have left all Young People unable to write anything other than textese... And I've been to visit already, and that was fun, and they're all happy and I'm sure that the landlord will get heat in soon. Even though the house is to be razed in May...

So again. I must be evolving into a higher life-form, right? The kind of life-form that has pretty much handled one of life's challenging struggles. And handled it okay, on the whole.

With that anything-but-neat segue, I come to Robin Brande's book. Finally.

Behind a cut for the sake of anyone who's automatically uninterested in a YA novel about a girl brought up in a fundamentalist Christian family/Church struggling to find her own beliefs - about evolution, obviously, but also about what Christianity means to her. But you'll miss a wonderful book which treats this with subtlety, humour and intelligence. the promised cut )

If you don't want to try the book, you can check out Robin Brande's blog - a great read. (Be warned though! I've ordered five books - only one available and ordered from the library - from just a few weeks' reading.) (You'll be hearing more about at least one of them shortly, now the Great Migration is mostly accomplished.)


*Younger Daughter invented this from among the many possible initials of her last name and middle name (which is my last name) and stuck it after her first name to create an email address, which I thought both elegant and poetic. So I've gakked it. Thanks C-ode!
lady_schrapnell: (Default)
Okay, I realised I'm really in trouble with the younger YA - Middle School - Elementary School groups (not helped by the situation last time I was living in the States, in Arizona, and there was a big kerfuffle about either adding 6th grade to Middle School or putting it back in Elementary or .... I dunno, but I do remember that the Middle School was a troubled zone age-wise) or what might be put here in the 8 to 12 year old section in bookshops, and Amazon is NO help at all, though I suppose that's because they're putting up publishers' info and School Library Journal and Booklist and there's no particular reason they should match. So, the 'categories' may be a mess (but the books aren't!)

Middle School (?) group:

Forever Rose by Hilary McKay (I defy anyone to classify one appropriate age group for these books)  My write-up
Verdigris Deep by Frances Hardinge My write-up
Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes (Now, I'd definitely have said High School, especially as the kids are IN High School - but SLJ says Grades 6 and up...) (This was the last book of the 48 Hour Challenge and I appear to have collapsed before doing a proper write-up.)
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages My write-up
Undine by Penni Russon (This really is cheating - one review says Grades 7 and up, another YA, so I'm barely squeaking it into MS, because it's the only spot left) My write-up

And the Elementary School (??) group:

Forever Rose (WHAT??  It works for both!)
Larklight  by Philip Reeve. The few words I wrote appear to have been in the middle of our dog's second major health crisis and aren't worth linking
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce My write-up
Changeling by Delia Sherman My write-up
A Drowned Maiden's Hair  by Laura Amy Schlitz My write-up


I'm not even sure I believe my own groupings at this point, but can only save this by posting, and haven't the energy to rethink it and relink it all.  So may post different lists tomorrow.

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