Skip to main content

Carnegie Medal Shortlist 2013: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

This is probably my favourite of all the Carnegie Shortlist, in that it is the one that most reflects my own personal reading tastes. It's a gorgeously dark and shivery story about love and sacrifice. It moves backwards through time to tell seven interconnected stories, starting in 2073 and ending in a time unknown. I love that idea of a misty past that isn't pinned down to a specific date; it lends mystery and a timeless quality that fits perfectly with the book.

Each story is set during a different month and is linked to a particular type of moon, such as the Flower Moon in June or the Fruit Moon in September. The lore surrounding full moons and their associated months is so interesting, and varied, and I enjoyed spending some time reading up on it all for myself. Books that take you off on your own reading trails are the best.

The events begin when Eric Seven takes a trip to the island of Skarpness, in the far north. He's a journalist, investigating rumours about the longevity of the islanders, but what he finds is something quite unexpected. For one, he falls in love at first sight with a local girl called Merle, a phenomenon he doesn't believe in. For another, for all the island's beauty it is most definitely strange. It's completely cut off from the outside world, but there's something more, something hidden on the island. There is a slight menace to the atmosphere, overlaying the overt hospitality. And, Eric finds it hard to keep everything straight in his mind; there are a couple of pages where the paragraphs start with 'The days pass' that capture the sleepwalking nature of his time there. But Eric is sleepwalking his way towards great danger...

As the years cycle backwards different versions of Eric and Merle appear in very different stories, but always connected by love. These snapshots of other times give continuity to their story, without it following one unbroken path. Piecing it all together is one of the reasons I love the book. It is also just so beautifully written that I was spellbound.


Popular posts from this blog

Interview With The Vampire: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice and Ashley Marie Witter

Super Special Summer Picnic Book Chase

My nieces and nephews and I have a monthly book club, called Book Chase (although it sometimes gains an extra 's' to become Book Chasse). The rules are simple: we all bring something we've read during the last month, talk about it to each other, and eat snacks. We live tweet each meeting with the hashtag BookChase. Sometimes, when we remember, we Storify all the tweets too. This month, we remembered!


How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you've found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance's phone...  Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen. But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat?
This book illustrates how special a thing it is to have people send you books out of the blue; it's a privilege and a pleasure. I wouldn't have known about this book, let alone read and loved it, if it hadn't landed in my letterbox. I'm …