Month: May 2014

The Hare in the Moon

Star GAzing Hare

 

It is three o’clock in the morning on the fourteenth instant of the fifth month. While Terra sleeps, the Hare turns on the Moon and opens heavy lids and stretches great hind legs and bursts with zeal from dark lunar regolith with the verve of new life. Charged with spring’s brio the Hare goes running, hopping and jumping from Spica to Zubenelgenubi to Antares before he takes one final three thousand trillion mile-long leap.

Vega sleeps next to her husband on the left side by an open window. The Moon Hare creeps with ears flattened to his angular skull through slats of blinds and pads two by two over a white gloss sill. He hops onto the end of a quilted bed. Vega feels his weight. She opens her eyes and sees a shadowy silhouette of tall, alert ears and a gnarled face and she stretches her fingers out and touches the cool, smooth skin of her husband’s back.

Husband lump grunts.

 

‘Hare’ she whispers.

 

And the bed is lighter and the shadow is gone.

 

An hour of fitful slumber later, a coarse barking peals through warm, rain-fresh, moonlit night. Husband lump stirs and turns over.

 

‘Fox’ the woman whispers in half-sleep.

 

It is morning and walking husband phones his wife.

 

‘There is a fox in the drive. His entrails are out of his body and a crow is breakfasting on him. If you can avoid it, I would not go out there. I have called the council and they will come and take it away.’

‘The fox; I heard him in the night.’

 

At ten o’clock at night on the fifteenth instant of the fifth month Vega looks to the May sky.  On indigo air, nestled amidst luminescent cloud-mountains, beyond sable, jagged arbour networks and night-ash leaves, the Hare is chasing the Fox all around the Moon.

 

Full Moon Fox ANita Inverarity

 

 

Images 1&2 – Stargazing Hare and Full Moon Fox by Anita Inverarity, http://www.redbubble.com/people/anitainverarity/works/8385756-star-gazing-hare

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The Distance Between Us – Review

The Distance Between UsThe Distance Between Us by Maggie O’Farrell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story of two strangers, Stella living in London and Jake living in Hong Kong is woven together cleverly. The chapter-less structure of the story where you hop back and forth from one paragraph to the next between the parallel lives of the two love interests manages to gradually entwine Stella and Jake beautifully in the readers mind. The past is unravelled with evocative and viscerally described childhood and coming of age experiences that explain the relationship between the two sisters, Stella and Nina, in all its gloriously unhealthy insularity as well as inviting the reader to witness and relate to the complicated and competitive love between siblings.

I realise I may be biased here in relating to the female characters more, but I suppose Stella is the protagonist and as such I was given more reason to invest in hers and Nina’s story. I found a lack in Jake that left me a little cold and the emptiness in his character does not resolve itself at any point, but perhaps it is not meant to. His mother Caroline, on the other hand, is very interesting and I enjoyed the dialogues between Jake and his down to earth friend Hing Tai, who, to me, has a warm and immediate humour about him and a certainty to counter-balance Jake’s watery nature. But Jake himself seemed a little undeveloped. Consequently, I don’t think I cared too much about what happened to him.

There is something about the strength of the peripheral characters in this book, like Stella’s mother, Francesca, and her friendship with Evie, who we get to know just enough about to like and engage with, that add a quality whereby the field of vision is extended widely beyond the main plot. Because of this, because they are not too prescribed, the characters stay with you and grow organically and effortlessly.

I read The Distance Between Us in three nights which for me, as a SLOW reader, is pretty quick and testament to very well placed hooks and shows. I’m sure a normal person could gobble this lingering and resonance-rich novel up in no time at all. Overall, an enjoyable and sensory read.

View all my reviews