Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff

It was a happy day on my vacation last month when I discovered that Meg Rosoff had a new title coming out. Once again it is not YA in the States, but the protagonist is a young woman.

I am pleased to report that unlike my 2007 review of What I Was I did not feel compelled to flip to the back of the book and sneak a peek. Why? Because this story is wonderful. Oh, it is so deliciously good! If you read What I Was, and even Just In Case, and thought they were perhaps too murky and meandering, then this may be the title to win you over full stop. Gorgeous cover. Gorgeous story.

It's 1850s England and Pell Ridley does not want to marry the boy next door. She leaves the morning of the wedding on her horse for Salisbury Fair to find work. Pell has a gift with horses. Think horse whisperer, but less corny and more magical & kick butt. As you can guess knowing a thing or two about young women out on the open road, things aren't going to go well for our broke-single girl-without-a-man-walking-through-rural-England-looking-for-work. Pell leads a classic YA storyline: on the verge of adulthood, craving independence, establishing her own identity, and finding a place in the world, but still yearning for a connection to family and home.

The story builds, branches off into other stories, twists and intersects and all the while moves swiftly to a satisfying conclusion. One quick mention of the
white horse in the hill made me cheer. I wouldn't have known to what Rosoff was referring without having read the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett .

Makes me wonder what other little things I missed.

Rosoff builds pleasantly odd, slightly magical, and beautifully detailed stories. See for yourself and
read part of the first chapter on her site. Her writing style and storytelling remind me of Polly Horvath. Am I alone in this? (A sequel to My One Hundred Adventures out early next year!)

I think I'm going to check The Bride's Farewell on audio and listen to it all over again.

Meg Rosoff be in San Antonio in October. Wah!

2009 Viking
library copy


Patti said...

I am so jealous you've already read this, I'm going to get my hands on it today. Great review!

Patti said...

Finally read it. Sigh, i'm sad it's over. You were right, it was beautiful and magical and one of the best things I've read all year. I loved how the characters were developed. Pell, most obviously, but Bean too - regardless of his never saying a word. Loved it. Wish I could read it again for the first time.
(and I totally missed any references so kudos to you to catching the horse on the hill one!)