It’s my four year anniversary on WordPress today! Weird. And quite cool. Wanted to say WELCOME to all my new followers and I hope you’re enjoying the content here. Please feel free to comment, as I do enjoy reading and answering comments! Now on to the business at hand.
A Monster Calls was written by Patrick Ness based on an original idea by the YA writer Siobhan Dowd, who very sadly passed away at a very young age. Judging by the idea he’s had to build on here she was pretty special, so I’ll definitely be checking out the four books she had published.
Patrick Ness is a terrific writer, he’s built a wonderful story around Siobhan’s idea. It’s the story of a young boy, Conor, whose mum is pretty much dying from late stage cancer and he’s struggling to not only deal with it but other things going on at school and home. His father is in the states, married to a new woman and with a new baby, and his grandmother is not someone he gets on with. He’s having a very specific nightmare about his mum, too, one that wakes him most nights screaming.
Into this, a monster calls. Specifically Cernunnos, walking in the guise of the Yew tree in Conor’s garden. He has come, he says, because Conor called, and has three stories to tell. Once he’s done, Conor will tell him a story and that story will be the truth or he will eat Conor. This book is powerful, visceral and beautifully written, I loved it. A difficult subject handled in a masterful fashion.
You can buy this book in the UK here (I’d recommend the illustrated version)
Or in the US here