Well, despite 3 snow days and 2 days of a poorly child being home, I have finished my first month's review and artwork on time....just!
The book I chose for January was 'Boneland' by Alan Garner. Boneland is said to be the conclusion of the adventures of Colin and Susan which began with 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and 'The Moon of Gomrath'. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen was fist published in 1960 so Boneland has been long-awaited. I, on the other hand, only read it last year! I decided to read it after coming across an article on the forthcoming publication on Boneland. It caught my attention because although I really did not read a lot as a teenager (school put me off!), the one book I do remember reading and enjoying was another of Garner's books, 'The Owl Service'. I loved 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and read 'The Moon of Gomrath' straight afterwards.
So what about Boneland? Well the first thing to note is that the first two books are written for children but Boneland is aimed at adults which is unusual but works very well in this case. I'd imagine, most fans, unlike myself, would have read the earlier books as children and now be long grown up. This book is wonderfully mysterious. There is not a lot happening and everything going on at the same time. The writing is beautiful and eerie and I loved it :) It is about science and mythology, time and space, and our relationship to the land we inhabit. There is layer upon layer of meaning (not sure that is the right word actually but can't think of a better one!) and at the end of the book you are none the wiser and left to think on.
Since finishing Boneland, I have read a lot of articles and reviews to see how it had been received by others. One of the main things that I came across from doing that was that although Boneland is the final book of 3, it really relates to a lot more of Alan Garner's books than just those so of course I now want to go and read all the rest. I knew this challenge would increase rather than decrease my 'to-read' list!
In terms of my piece of artwork, I decided to keep things quite simple as a really don't think I'm anywhere near to understanding what Boneland is about. I picked a few things from the book that I felt drawn to and just played about with them. Here is what I ended up with....
I realise this is quite a vague 'review' but I would definitely recommend Boneland. It's an experience and I'm still thinking about it :)
I've already started my book for February, 'Game of Thrones' and I am quite pleased after this month to find it much more simplistic and have a couple of straightforward ideas for artwork already!