Sunday, 28 September 2014

Crown of Acorns by Catherine Fisher (2010)

The Glass Tower

Following our group's enjoyment of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising, we decided to try another fantasy writer - this time Catherine Fisher.

Fisher, like Cooper, draws on myth and folklore. Several books are based on Welsh myth and landscape (Fisher was born in Newport), while the Oracle Trilogy blends Ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology to great effect.

Crown of Acorns was chosen by our reading group as it is set here in Bath, and centres around John Wood's beautiful eighteenth century streetscape, The Circus. Fisher splits her narrative between a troubled teenager, who has moved to Bath to start a new life, and a fictionalised account of John Wood (the elder) and the building of The Circus in the mid 1700s.

Etching of the Circus in 1773 by John Robert Cozens (Victoria Art Gallery, Bath)

Fisher's writing is vivid and elegant and her other existence as a poet shows through in her prose.

Our group enjoyed this book, with some favouring one storyline and some another but we all agreed that it made us look at the streets and buildings of Bath anew.

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