The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Friday, June 1, 2012

Old and New

I've recently finished a couple of books that could not have been more different. I love the fact that I loved them both. A few days ago saw me complete The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab, written by Fergus Hume and first published in 1886. I think I learnt from my experience with Wilkie Collins, and only picked it up when I had lots of time and inclination for a ponderous and meandering reading experience. As a consequence, it took about three weeks for me to finish but I was happy to read it slowly. It is like a BBC Sunday night historical mystery in a book. And the cover is yellow which made me very happy.

In contrast, Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier hasn't been published at all yet, and I read it in five days. Not only is this a teen novel, it is teen fantasy. I don't tend to go in for fantasy these days but perhaps this reminded me of the times when I happily read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe over and over again. Despite the book being a composite of two genres I rarely read, I was gripped. I put tasks aside to read, I squeezed in a paragraph or two while on the train station escalators, I thought about the story when I had to put the book down.

I love the fact that my reading experiences can be so different in terms of genre, content and my responses to the texts. What makes this even cooler is that both these books are Australian; it's nice to know such diversity can come from one place.


  1. I've been wanting to read a Juliet Marillier book as Kate Forsyth & Kate Morton both rave about her books and cite them as influences in their own writing. Very tempting....

    1. Just read your review so I see you gave in to temptation!

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