|Snow Flurries near Ruddycleave, in a damp sketchbook.|
Pull Out All The Stops. It's a sequel to Stop The Train, her novel about the inhabitants of a town in the old west. In the new book some of the children join the Bright Lights travelling theatre company as it makes its accident-prone way down the Missouri river aboard a ramshackle, abandoned paddle-steamer called the Sunshine Queen, which they manage to re-float. It is, as usual, perfectly brilliant, and I'm rationing myself to three chapters a day to make the pleasure last.
It's so good, in fact, that don't even mind the fact that it has sunk not one but two of my own projects; I've been tinkering for ages with some ideas for a story set during the American Civil War, which was going to involve some characters re-floating a ramshackle, abandoned paddle steamer on the Missouri. And I also had a vague notion that my own troupe of travelling actors, the Persimmon company out of A Web of Air, might stage some sort of elaborate con-trick to fox the villain of a future Fever Crumb adventure... but I suspect that that's exactly what Geraldine's Bright Lights will be getting up to at the climax of her book. In a way I feel quite chuffed that I keep having the same ideas as her; the trouble is, she usually has them first, and does them much better than I could.
Anyway, a proper review of Pull Out All The Stops will appear soon on The Solitary Bee, another blog which seems, in its bee-like way, to have gone into hibernation recently.