I can’t wait. It’s as simple as that. It’s been hard enough to wait this long, even. I don’t want to put pressure – much – on authors to write faster, because I know it has to take time. And publishers have to do all their bits, but it does seem to take forever. I see that Meg Rosoff’s new novel, The Bride’s Farewell, is out in America in August, so that makes this little review slightly less premature, as UK readers have until September before they can read the book, which is so wonderful that I have almost started reading it again after just finishing it.
Being no fan of Hardy, or rather of his fondness for sad and bad, I wasn’t sure that Meg was wise to walk in his footsteps with Bride. It is a Hardyesque story, and Meg has come up with some really awful events for her heroine Pell Ridley (lovely name) to struggle through. But it’s worth it in the end. What makes the awfulness bearable is that Meg writes short books and so there isn’t a lot of dwelling on the bad, before we move on.
Pell escapes her home on her wedding day, taking her horse with her, to find a new life. This is a beautifully horsey story, with horse whisperer talents, and you can even smell the horses. Plenty of other things to smell, too. Injured body parts that are left untreated for too long. Enforced lack of hygiene, obviously.
And there is romance! Very low key romance, which makes it so much more powerful. You hardly know whether it will last.
This is a journey book, much like How I Live Now. If it’s possible to compare a modern day New York teenager with a slightly older Victorian girl from the New Forest, then Pell and Daisy are sisters. And I love them both. One can shoot pet goats, and the other, well, you have to wait and see. But she definitely can.