Sunday, April 16, 2017

Emerging Critics and Walking Mountain

Emerging Critics is a scheme run by the Scottish Review of Books in which established literary critics offer mentoring to the next generation of literary critics.  A commendable project - especially when one of the books the mentees were given was Walking Mountain*!

Thanks to mentor David Robinson for telling me about it, and thanks to Jacqueline Thompson for letting me share some of her review here.  Jacqueline writes

It begins in the vast plains of space, as grazing meteors are herded by a group of celestial beings known as Drivers. One of these meteors – ‘a huge bull’ – slips loose as the Drivers enjoy a party, and charges towards a certain blue-green planet. As openers go, it’s a curious one, and Walking Mountain, Joan Lennon’s new novel for children, is a curious beast indeed...

The mythical feel of the narrative gives it a snowy freshness, and the episodic chapters mean that events zip along nicely...

Lennon does not shy away from Big Ideas, about religion, climate change and demonization, but these are mercifully never signposted, achieved without soapbox or loudspeaker. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, and aeons pass from the first page to the last, so there is a suitably ambitious feel to the narrative, but it also feels very much contained, never sprawling or unruly...

And then she closes with this:

This is a tale that bears repeated readings. From its curious beginning to its romantic, cinematic end, Walking Mountain is testament to the scope of Lennon’s imagination. It is magical, with just enough grounding in the concerns of our time on this blue-green planet to make Walking Mountain a story that illuminates the rocks beneath our feet as much as those meteors grazing – or perhaps escaping – far above our heads.

Absolutely made my day!

* Walking Mountain is published by BC Books and is coming out at the beginning of June - not long now!


At 9:36 AM, Blogger Joan Lennon said...

Apologies for the randomness of the font size - I couldn't seem to get it under control!

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Sue Purkiss said...

Lovely review!

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Joan Lennon said...

Thank you!


Post a Comment

<< Home