Meeting a Future Viragoite

Isn’t it lovely when you fall in love with a fictional character and then you discover that you have the same taste in books?

That’s just what happened to me. I met Gussie, a twelve year old girl living  just across the bay from me in St Ives towards the end of last year in Ann Kelley’s The Burying Beetle. Gussie has a serious heart condition but is so alive her head full of ideas, dreams, nature, books …

I loved Gussie and her story so much that I am already reading the next installment – The Bower Bird. Now I knew that Gussie loved her books and that she was making some fine selections, but I was beyond thrilled when I read these words:

“I reluctantly leave the starlit night and get into my bed. I’m reading a really good book by Mary Webb called Gone to Earth. It’s about a girl who has a pet fox. Mary Webb has written several other books. I’ll have to look out for them at car boot sales or in the second-hand bookshop, as they are so old they are probably out of print.”

One of my favourite authors, one of her best books, and a Virago Modern Classic to boot!]

And note those great book-hunting instincts.

How I wish I could introduce her to the Virago Modern Classics Group on LibraryThing – she would fit right in!

9 responses

  1. I recognise Mary Webb’s Gone to Earth as being one of the first ten titles Penguin chose to publish. I haven’t got around to reading it yet, but now that you’ve recommended it I’ll put it on my list of books to read soon

    • Karyn, I should warn you that while I love Mary Webb, she has her critics. She wrotes the kind of rural melodrama that was parodied by Stella Gibbons in Cold Comfort Farm.

  2. I love reading about characters that also love to read. I always find myself checking over their reading lists to see what they’ve read, and adding the ones I haven’t to my to-read lists. I think I’m going to get hooked on Viragos the way I’m hooked on Persephones. Which is both good and bad.

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