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176 pages, Paperback
First published August 18, 2020
I loved you, I love you, doesn’t that damned well matter? and also So what if I lied, so what if I was selfish—what is love if not selfish—so what if I needed you—I still need you—and really, really, Mr Finch, shouldn’t you be theone who’s sorry? Aren’t you the one who left me?
“Do you know what that’s like—when the impossible becomes true right before your eyes?”
“With a terrible crash, the black waters closed over them all.”Yet again I really love the ability of Emily Tesh to create a very atmospheric experience within the confines of a novella. Her follow-up to the melancholically enchanting Silver in the Wood gives more of the same immersive feeling.
“Everything sprouted if he wanted it to. There was a healthy crab apple demolishing its way through the ceiling and floor of what had once been a whitewashed ground-floor bedroom in the east wing. Crooked branches laden with white blossom and sour fruit together thrust from broken windowpanes. The tree had been in both blossom and fruit for months and it was not happy. Silver was not happy either. Sometimes he went and sat in there and felt sorry for himself.
Other places Silver felt sorry for himself: his study, which as all the servants had left months ago was a mess; his library, which was hardly better; his bedroom, where mistletoe hung from the bedposts like midwinter baubles; and of course the floor of the great hall, where the cold of the ancient stones seeped into his back and the moss was spreading lusciously along the cracks between them.”
“But to the trees of the Hallow Wood time ran differently; and for them the waters had come as one single onslaught, without mercy, swallowing the forest and all the life it contained. So it came now, the dark gulp of the sea, roaring through the Wood.”
“Silver had never dared to ask her if she was really still mourning his father or if she just found the sober attire of the widow convenient for her purposes. Hunting monsters could be a messy business. Bloodstains hardly showed on black.”
Add this to the actual plot, not just promises of it — and I’m all yours.
#1) Silver in the Wood ★★★★★
Other places Silver felt sorry for himself: [...] his bedroom, where mistletoe hung from the bedposts like midwinter baubles; and of course the floor of the great hall, where the cold of the ancient stones seeped into his back and the moss was spreading lusciously along the cracks between them. He sat up when he felt the shuddering demand go through the Wood. His outline remained on the stones where he had lain sketched in yellow-white lichen. There were several similar man-shapes scattered around the empty room.
"So this was what became of falling in love with a marvel out of legend."