My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have been in a bit of a slump with reading at the moment, reading books that have left me wanting, and reading books with a tight, tense, uncharitable air. This has not been productive; rather so, it has left me hungry for something. That hunger was sated, briefly, by my glorious Noel Streatfield but it stayed with me after that and it made itself known.
And when I feel like this, when there are things needling at the edge of my mind, or a closed, grey feeling to my senses, I need a very specific sort of book. I need Noel Streatfield. I need Michelle Magorian.
I need Elizabeth Goudge.
I need her buttery, fat prose, her Jam and Jerusalem books of England and English magic and children who make the world a better place through their simple belief and instinctive actions. I need her yellow stories, the stories shot through with sunshine and meadows and hills that must be climbed and stories that must be told.
I need books like this and I need to read them selfishly for when I finish reading them, I am whole. I am content and complete.
Linnets and Valerians is about people. Round, solid heartfelt and heartsore people. It’s about the shapes families make with each other, the fitting, jarring shapes that occur when a piece is torn away, and the shapes that are made when a connection occurs, right on the edge of despair. It is also about hope, really, and redemption. It is romantic, naive, and occasionally foolish. It is about magic, faith and an almost idyllic English countryside.
In a way it is about Love, which to be fair, is about all of those things and often all at once.