by Karen Cushman
Editor: Clarion Books
It's time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a “wise woman”—a sort of witch—has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Tangles and toadstools! Lacking confidence after years of being called “Feeble Wits” by her mother, Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook!
I received an ARC copy from NetGally in exchange for an honest review.
There’s something about Karen Cushman’s writing and the way she weaves magic into her stories that I can't quite describe. I am not new to Cushman's books I started with Catherine, called Birdy a couple of years ago and followed it with all the other books I could get my hands on. If you pay attention you can always spot Cushman’s writing by the way she weaves ordinary things into fantastic adventures and I enjoy the way she gives voice to young apprentices throughout history in the most amazing tales.
In Cushman’s books there are no heroes and villains per se only people who try to do the best with what they have and in doing so, Cushman creates characters that are easy to relate to and to enjoy.
Grayling's Song is Cushman’s latest book and up to now one of my favourites by this author and if I am honest probably in general as well. Wise women are characters that I always like to see in fiction, better yet when we see a wise woman come into herself. Like most books by Cushman this a coming of age tale where our protagonist leaves her childhood home behind to find her place in world. This in essence also gives Cushman’s books a feeling of fairy tales since her characters leave the warmth of home in search of fortune.
Grayling has been at her mother's beck and call all her life and believes that she is useless and only an extra pair of hands to her mother. So when a mysterious force strikes her mother down she has to step up and try to save her. Harmed with her wits and what's left of her mother's potions Grayling goes on in search of answers even though she doesn't know exactly what are the questions.
Beautifully written and with funny characters Grayling's Song provides an interesting view into the wise woman's journey and how our biggest fears can be our biggest friends or worst enemies depending on how we choose to face/embrace them. All in all a book that I would recommend.
Cat / Ki
Known bookaholic and weekend writer. Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. From time to time she has very strong feelings and opinions about books and the world and she likes writes about them (mostly in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias). She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.