08 January, 2012
The Stone Book Quartet by Alan Garner (1979)
Quite why Garner is pigeonholed as a children’s author puzzles me and this work is an example of why. The Stone Book Quartet contains four simple but beautifully crafted episodes tracing Garner’s family in rural Cheshire from the mid 1800s. Deeply felt without ever lapsing into the sentimental, this work shines a rare light on the interconnectedness of a rural village, the subtleties of working with iron and stone, and how the seasons and landscape governed life. You realise how much has changed, how quickly things can fade away.