The Stone Book Quartet, by Alan Garner

Second paragraph of third story (“The Aimer Gate”):

The sky was coming light. It was going to be a hot day, but now it was cold.

I was a big fan of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen as a child, and Red Shift as a teenager, and enjoyed The Owl Service more recently. Somehow this had passed me by. It’s a set of four novellas, set in the same family across five different generations but in the same place, Garner’s home ground, Alderley Edge in Cheshire; each story is about a turning point in the life of a child, who then turns up as an adult in the next. It’s understated, lyrical, not really about very much but very beautifully done. Garner himself apparently regards it as his masterpiece; not sure I’d completely agree with that, but I enjoyed it a lot, and it has a lot of bang for a very short book. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2012. Next on that list is Bitter Angels, by C.L. Anderson.

One thought on “The Stone Book Quartet, by Alan Garner

  1. I remember loving this when I first read it at age 19. Twenty something (cough) years later I must re-read it. Be interesting to know what I think of it now.

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