November 23rd, 2018

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The Stone Book Quartet, by Alan Garner

Second paragraph of third story (“The Aimer Gate”):
The sky was coming light. It was going to be a hot day, but now it was cold.
I was a big fan of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen as a child, and Red Shift as a teenager, and enjoyed The Owl Service more recently. Somehow this had passed me by. It’s a set of four novellas, set in the same family across five different generations but in the same place, Garner’s home ground, Alderley Edge in Cheshire; each story is about a turning point in the life of a child, who then turns up as an adult in the next. It’s understated, lyrical, not really about very much but very beautifully done. Garner himself apparently regards it as his masterpiece; not sure I’d completely agree with that, but I enjoyed it a lot, and it has a lot of bang for a very short book. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2012. Next on that list is Bitter Angels, by C.L. Anderson.