Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back in the Day...

I just arrived in Maine for my sister's graduation this Saturday, and I already noticed something pretty awesome about our rooms: Each one has BOOKS!!!

Most of them don't seem familiar. This one, for example, is older than my parents: THE HEADLAND, by Carol Brink (MacMillan, 1955).

The flap copy cracks me up:

"The small village on the coast of France was the home of the five children each summer. Their lives were bound together, though, on the nearby headland--a wild, romantic place with its ruined castle and strange well shaft leading down through dark rock to the sea. For it was on the headland that John and Hilda Marsh, Raoul and Catalina Jiminez, and lonely Vicky Chalmers became friends.

"From the first, John, a gentle, sensitive boy, found himself drawn to the quiet, devout Catalina. For the passionate Hilda and Raoul, love was a more intense, dangerous bond, yet one which even the bitterness and savageness of war could not break. Vicky followed the others patiently, keeping her own love silent.

"Each of them except Raoul--the inscrutable, willful, dominant personality--helps tell the story. Through their words we share deeply the magic of their childhood on the headland, the meaning of their love, and the tragedy brought to their lives by the Second World War.

"The story of the linked destinies of the five vivid people is a tale of mounting excitement, written in scenes with sharp, authentic realism--a story which casts a spell of strange beauty and romance."


It reminds me of the description blurbs we used to write for titlesheets (ie. the book report that editorial wrote before presenting new titles to the rest of the company).

The author bio is the same way:

"With her two previous novels, BUFFALO COAT and STOPOVER; her many books for children; and her biography, HARPS IN THE WIND, Carol Brink has firmly established her appeal for readers of all ages.

"Mrs. Brink began her writing career with stories for boys and girls, and in 1935 she was awarded the Newbery Medal for 'Caddie Woodlawn.'

"Each of her adult novels reveals her extraordinary talent for recapturing in fiction the atmosphere of places she knows well. Mrs. Brink was born and raised in Idaho, near the rugged country she describes in BUFFALO COAT. The setting of STOPOVER is a small town in Minnesota, the state in which she has spent most of her married life. Her present novel brilliantly reflects her intimate knowledge of--and love for--France."

Did you catch the shocker in there?

Carol Brinks won the friggin' Newbery!!!!

Strangely though, I get the feeling like whoever wrote the bio is a little apologetic about her success as a children's author, don't you?


Hayley Tsukayama said...

Caddie Woodlawn! I read that in between two Ingalls Wilder books...don't remember which ones...same sort of scrappy pioneer gal feeling. It's a good book, she should definitely not feel ashamed. Have you read Judy Blume's book for grown-ups, Summer Sisters? I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about that.

Shelby Bach said...


I read CADDIE WOODLAWN too! I remember the cover - a girl with two blond braids with lots of corn in the background.

I did read SUMMER SISTERS, but it was millions and millions of years ago (well, I think at least ten). I can't remember anything that happens except that the friend who claimed to have more lots of sexual experience -- SPOILER ALERT -- actually didn't, and she ended up admitting it years and years after the fact.

Hmm. I should probably read it again...