1 August 2011
a little book talk (and giveaway)
The photos are unrelated; I'm just enjoying the blooms of late winter so I thought you might too.
Standing in my driveway one wintry morning, looking across the road
Do you read Rae's blog? If you don't, you really should. It's quite a gem. And now she's written a book. A book! I feel ridiculously proud of her, my imaginary Canadian friend who lives this exotic life with her husband and four children in India and has now written her first novel. I think I'm the last person to review Rae's book The Eve Tree, for which I feel bad, but, well, there were reasons. At first the book didn't arrive, so the publishing company sent another one, but it was in the middle of essay-writing time so I didn't get to pick it up, and then (you know what I'm going to say, don't you?), the first book turned up. So now I had two unread copies on my bedside table, taunting me, wafting waves of guilt over my head as I slept.
um, a photogenic clump of grass. with cobwebs.
But lo, the day arrived when semester was over and I was free to read whatever I WANTED to read, and that included Rachel Devenish Ford's The Eve Tree. (It also included Geraldine Brooks' Caleb's Crossing, and Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, two very different but equally unputdownable books. So it's been a rather rewarding semester break in terms of my personal reading).
hardenbergia growing along the roadsides everywhere
The Eve Tree is a tale that will resonate with anyone who has a connection to the land they call home, or who has faced the threat of natural disasters, or has a complicated relationship with her mother, or mental illness, or makes cheese or keeps goats or has a mother. Everyone basically. Rae writes simply and honestly about a family living in the redwood forests of California, dealing with each other and the very real threat of losing their beloved farm to a forest fire.
the froth of euphorbia wulfenii
The central character Molly, is beautifully drawn. She's fragile but with a powerful undercurrent of ferocious strength and determination, she is flawed, cranky, loving, contradictory. Molly will get under your skin and live on in your brain long after you close the book with a sigh and put the light out. She's very real. The story feels very real and there are some lovely little pearls of poetry in the deceptively simple language.
daphne in my garden, about to do its thing
I'm kind of in awe when people I know write books. Even imaginary people who live in my computer. And I'm thrilled to hear that another novel from Rae is in the works already.
the first daffs, also in my garden
Anyway, remember I said I ended up with two copies of The Eve Tree? Well with Rae's blessing, I am giving away one copy to one of you. Leave a comment if you would like a chance to receive this beautiful debut novel, and I'll pull a name out of the virtual hat next week. Or if you can't wait to find out if your name is the one drawn, go here and buy a copy now.
Edited to add, lots of people are asking so I should clarify that yes, I will post internationally. Enter away.