Yesterday, Moira, Ruth, Hannah and I travelled up to London for the launch of Alice’s first novel, “Ink” (available at all good bookshops!).
been to a ‘book launch’ before, but I was conscious of a very real, tangible
sense of excitement (and cake… and wine!). It was a very lovely evening.
to read Alice’s book (it’s the first of a trilogy). I’ve consciously avoided
reading the proof copy so I can read the ‘real thing’.
Young Adult novel. Its synopsis is this: “Every action, every deed, every
significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora's father dies,
she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves
to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of
his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book
is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all”.
has already received some wonderful feedback and, apparently, translation
rights have been signed in TEN countries!
night’s launch, Alice’s editor at Scolastic read a note she’d received from an
Italian editor about “Ink” (I’d previously read it… and it had made me cry).
I’d like to share his post and just hope that I’m not treading on anyone’s toes
by doing so:
“I have three little scars, right between my eyebrows.
It’s what varicella left me back when I was a kid, and I didn’t have the
patience to wait for the scabs to do their own course. Though, those little
signs became me as much as they are the shape of my nose, or my bad temper, or
the people I know.
When a couple of years ago my cat scratched my first son closest to his
right eye, after the initial dread I just found myself thinking that he was now
different from how he was born. Life happened to him, somehow: in a parallel
universe, there is a different version of him who has not that scar, who is
another him than the one I know. And it’s mutual: the one that he knows is the
version of me with the three little scars between the eyebrows.
And I do hope that he won’t forget me.
How I loved to become a book. How I loved to be able to have my ancestors’
tales with me. And, of course, to be a reader.
That was what left me those enchanting first twenty pages of INK I had
the chance to read before Bologna’s Fair. That is why I insisted so much with
the people from Scholastic to keep me posted about the book with the purest,
most honest, crystal clearest idea I had bumped into in a long, long time.
Yet, the final text thought me much more. Our bodies heal, our bodies
repair. My body doesn’t tell tales on me for every single mistakes. I might
have three little scars, but if they are important is because they are my dad
coming home to spend some time with me, my mother taking care of me, my sister
trying to cheer me up. They are somehow the legacy of a love. Just as the scar
on my son is the sign of a cat, and the dread of a father.
I’m not the right kind of anything, like Leora; but I do think that book
can save our souls. Can help us remember.
And yes, now, Alice Broadway, I remember you. I will always do.
It will be
such a pride to be the one who will make other people in Italy remember you as
special when someone writes such things about something one of your daughters
Absolutely. It brought tears to my eyes again as I
re-read it this morning (it must be an age thing!).
I will be reading Alice’s book over the coming
weeks (of course!). As you might imagine, the prospect of doing so is both
exciting and scary… will I enjoy it? Actually, it doesn’t really matter because
I know that lots of other people already have. I promise to keep you posted(!)...
A very special time for Alice… and for Dave… and
her children… and for all of us in the rest of her family.
childhood dreams really do come true.
Photo: Ruth’s family pic from last
night’s book launch.
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