Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Thanks to my Lucky Star

Apart from the positive pleasure that is brought by the diminution of pain, I can report that one of the joys of getting a new hip (left hip in my case) is that the process of recovery gives lots of time for reading. Of course, you also have to do your exercises. And it’s lovely to have more time than usual for talking with friends on the phone. But those things still leave plenty of space for reading. You can’t be doing much cooking. You certainly can’t do much house-cleaning. So, apart from taking naps (which in my case seems unavoidable), there’s plenty of time left for books

Last night, I finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. What a wonderful book! It is set on a marsh. The sea is nearby. The girl who is the main character is called Kya and until she meets a boy called Tate who also spends a lot of his time on the marsh, Kya is on her own. Her mother has gone, her siblings have gone. But the delight of the book is that Kya is immersed in the life of the marsh. By the end of the book, she will have learned to read and write and she’ll be writing books about the creatures, plants and birds of the marsh.

Meantime, the delight for the reader is to share her active joy in the life around her and the sky above. Added to all of this pleasure that represents the central interest of the book, there’s a dead body. A young man has fallen to his death from a tower nearby. Did he jump? Was he pushed? The element of mystery adds a whodunit element. But it’s one that never detracts from the central pleasures which include the befriending of Kya by Tate and, throughout, the different moods of the sky and the creatures of the marsh. The life of the marshland is increased by the presence of an old man known as Jumpin’, one of those characters you don’t want to forget even when he has died.

From beginning to end, Where the Crawdads Sing is a complete pleasure. Even as I put it down on my bedside chest after finishing it the night before last, I wanted to pick it back up and start it all over again. And what a delight it is to feel so engaged, entirely wrapped up by a book that, in a way, does not have much story to it until towards the end when the trial takes place to try and establish exactly what happened to the young man who died in the fall from the tower.

Perhaps I should attribute some of my current pleasure of mine in reading – and Where the Crawdads Sing has been just one of the joys – to the fact of my new left hip. Certainly I’ve not been able to be very active. The installation of a new hip requires plenty of rest. And in my case resting requires plenty of reading except when it becomes irresistible to have another nap. But I do feel positively lucky that, over all the years, reading has brought me such a pleasure. And in this New Hip era, I thank my lucky stars that I have that pleasure to keep me going.

PS: The beautiful flowers that have given me my two photos this week came in a fabulous bouquet from two lovely friends, Graham and Jim. Particular thanks to them and to all the senders of well-wishing cards and messages.

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One Response to “Storytelling Starters ~ Thanks to my Lucky Star”

  1. Mary Steele Says:

    ‘I’d like to see every child in the country get on their feet and participate in active storytelling’ Rufus Norris, NT director (one of London theatre directors’ hopes for post Covid. Something to dream about. In the short term, though, it’s hopes for you to get back on your feet/hip.

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