It’s embarrassing. No one likes making mistakes, least of all me. But you’d think that when you read the new book by your favourite author – and in this case that would be Meg Rosoff – you’d be paying attention.
But no, I was so blissed out reading this wonderful holiday tale that I must have gone on holiday myself. Which will be why it wasn’t until I read one of the reviews on that Brazilian river site that I stopped and thought. Huh. Might the main character be a boy, and not a girl? What’s her/his name?
Yes, she could be a boy, couldn’t she? I discussed the issue with Daughter, who very quickly adopted the satisfying notion that she – the character – is a boy. The ending would make much more sense if she was, too. Besides, there is no name.
The next day on social media, where I had linked to my review, after saying how much he had enjoyed the book author Roy Gill asked what gender the main character is, pointing out she/he could be either. Or neither.
There was only one thing for me to do; ask Meg herself.
The girl is a boy. Although she had – that’s Meg – noticed that women over 50 tend to see a girl, and gay people see both options. And I’m definitely over 50.
Anyway, I blame the whole thing on it being the most perfect of stories.