ACHUKA Book of the Day 30 Oct 2020
We cannot recommend this book highly enough… A book made for shuttered winter reading. Buy three copies – one for yourself, one to give to an adult friend, and one to an older child or teen hungry to have their vocabulary broadened.
Those who follow our Twitter feed know that we have been posting tasty daily snippets from the book throughout October. We have never been moved to do this before, have no personal connections with the author, and have had no special contact from the publisher other than receiving the review copy.
There was something about this book, as soon as it arrived. The cover is beguiling. And from the first paragraph of the author’s Introduction – A Fox For All Seasons – we were entranced. The core of the retelling is closely based on the narrative as printed by William Caxton in 1481. [For the curious, I have discovered that there is a complete audiobook version of William Caxton’s translation on YouTube, that runs to over 4 hours.] But Avery significantly enhances the tale with imaginative additions of her own, a vivid evocation of the low countries landscape in which it is set, and a delight in language.
Ultimately it is Avery’s way with words, in particular the “lovely old medieval and early modern words and phrases which have long fallen out of favour”, that sets this book apart.
Probably our Book of the Year.