Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kaitangata Twitch by Margaret Mahy
I just read this book (you can read an excerpt here), which is being promoted as a supernatural eco-thriller - what a genre! It is a beautiful book though. Margaret Mahy has such fun with language, but is graceful too - she molds it both as a gifted sculptor might, smoothing a perfectly even surface, but also like a child joyfully squishing bright pink playdoh through her fingers. She creates an astonishing sense of internal logic with her magic and executes it apparently effortlessly though I am sure it's not.
This is not her strongest novel, it didn't make my mind spin like The Changeover or Tricksters, nor did it have the sophisiticated and complex characters of The Catalogue of the Universe (my favourite) or the oh-so-light, deft structure of The Haunting. But it does have her trademark happy, messy family relationships; likably clever and thoughtful child characters; a strong sense of place and a rich vein of magic which rings true in the context of the novel. It was lovely to be absorbed in a Margaret Mahy book again. I'll be interested to read her Maddigan series some time, it looks quite a departure from her other books.
I am taking Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith on holidays with me next week. I have been saving them up since Christmas...


  1. Yes, Margaret Mahy is fantastic, isn't she? Been a sad long while since I read anything of hers. Must away to yonder library!

  2. Ohh I loved the Changeover! Loved it. It's one of the only ones left that Molly hasn't read and I keep saying to her: "read this..come on read it and tell me what you think!" I will have to seek out some of her others I think.

  3. Yay for the Kiwi authors. She's so revered here (for good reason). I'll admit I've read not much of hers, just A Summery Saturday Morning which is a favourite of Asha's.
    Maddigan's Quest (I think) has been made into a children's television show here which is fantastic.
    :) Enjoy your holiday read Penn. XX