Boneland

Alan Garner

‘A woman was reading a book to a child on her knee.

‘“So the little boy went into the wood, and he met a witch. And the witch said, ‘You come home with me and I’ll give you a good dinner.’ Now you wouldn’t go home with a witch, would you?”

‘Colin stood. “Young man. Do not go into the witch’s house. Do not. And whatever you do, do not go upstairs. You must not go upstairs. Do not go! You are not to go!”’

Professor Colin Whisterfield spends his days at Jodrell Bank, using the radio telescope to look for his lost sister in the Pleiades. At night, he is on Alderley Edge, watching.

At the same time, and in another time, the Watcher cuts the rock and blows bulls on the stone with his blood, and dances, to keep the sky above the earth and the stars flying.

Colin can’t remember; and he remembers too much. Before the age of thirteen is a blank. After that he recalls everything: where he was, what he was doing, in every minute of every hour of every day. Everything he has read and seen.

And then, finally, a new force enters his life, a therapist who might be able to unlock what happened to him when he was twelve, what happened to his sister.

But Colin will have to remember quickly, to find his sister. And the Watcher will have to find the Woman. Otherwise the skies will fall, and there will be only winter, wanderers and moon…

Reviews of Boneland

  • Press for ‘Boneland’:

    ‘From Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, adults have been enthusiastically been reading children’s books over recent years. Garner predates the cross over phenomenon by decades, but he has never been just a children’s writer: he’s far richer, odder and deeper than that’ Guardian

    ‘There is much left unexplained. However, this is a novel for all the children who loved ‘The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen’ but who have now grown up.’ Four out of Five stars. Sarah Kingsford, Express