I learned to read at age three. It saved my mother from having me muling for her to read me a story night and day. By eight or nine, I had exhausted my love for children’s literature and started at my parent’s bookshelves where I found such treasures as Plato’s Republic and Dante’s Inferno. My parents both studied literature in college.
My cousin gave me J.R.R. Tolkien at age nine but between eight and nine was a difficult time as reading was a fierce addiction for me. I no longer enjoyed children’s books and my parents bookshelf had an upper shelf I could not reach. They refused to assist me in acquiring the books on the top shelves. They told me I was too young or some such nonsense. It was a condition I easily outgrew, but not at age eight.
One day my mother brought home a book from the library. She made a game of trying to find something that I would love. I could not fathom Dante and Plato was a bit boring, at least when I was eight. She held the book up and said this was a book written for children like me. She was right. I wonder if you will recognize it as well.
This book, one of the greats of all time for young readers, starts in a way writers are cautioned never to begin their books. With the weather. Funny, how the best writers always break the rules. Funny, how when they do, it is in such a sublime fashion. Recognize this? Such wondrous magic.
It was a dark and stormy night.
In her attic bedroom, Margaret Murray, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.
Do you know this? Feel free to comment.