Oh wow! This really is the perfect way to write a book. You pick characters from your favourite books and put them in a new story. Simple. Or perhaps not.
At first I was quite cynical both about Charlie Fletcher using classic characters in his book Far Rockaway, but also having his heroine Cat exist in two ‘realities.’ The book begins with Cat being hit by a fire truck, and the rest of the book is about her fight to survive.
Most of Cat’s fight for survival is done in the settings of old classics, with some very well known characters showing up. And to be frank, I thought that seemed a bit over the top. But I changed my mind, very quickly.
It would have helped to have read Last of the Mohicans, which to my shame I have to admit I haven’t. And now I feel I might need to. So that is clever. Not only do you want to read Far Rockaway, but it will make you interested in reading in general, and in the ‘featured’ classics in particular.
What happens to Cat in her adventures with these borrowed people, is mirrored in what happens to her in the hospital, where she is being operated on, and where it is touch and go for a long time.
It was her beloved grandfather Victor who tried to push her out of the way of the truck, and he too was injured. She meets him in her dream-like adventure, because he’s the one who has always encouraged Cat to read. Now she needs to work out what to do, to try and get them both out of there and safely home.
And quite possibly to Far Rockaway.
There can be no better way to revisit old favourites. I’ve been back to childhood again. (And it goes without saying that I borrowed my classics from the library.)