“The sky was perfectly blue and the sun was a golden-white circle directly above me. The air was heavy and made things blurry, melting trees and pavement into watery waves of colour.”
Reeds & Wicks is drenched in summer. The first time I shared it with anyone, I sat on a sun-soaked dock at Jones Falls Park on a hot July afternoon and I read page after page of these brothers and their struggle to grow up. And although, the book stretches into autumn and winter (“The months of heat had left the land scarce and empty, ready to receive a fresh transformation into a cold and white wasteland, distorting it with the beauty of delicate snowflakes and crystal clean banks.”), the story lives in summer.
“I tugged the headphones from my ears to listen to the wide-open spaces. The Beach Boys sang almost silently in a tinny irritating buzz around my neck as I stared in the direction the creek flowed. If I looked hard enough I could imagine where the stream met the St. Lawrence River. I couldn’t see the actual river, but I knew it was there, calling to me.”
If you have read my first novel, Meet Me Back Here, Alright? then you will be familiar with John Luke’s Woolf Island. However, Alex Podolski’s Woolf Island and John Luke’s Woolf Island are different. For one reason: John Luke loves Woolf Island. (Click here for Alex’s impression of this real/ imaginary place.)
“The beach was a mile-long curve in the bay of the Island, a band of soft yellow sand twenty feet wide then small gray stones, washed smoothed by the unending surge of water. We sat in the sand and waves rolled quietly into whitecaps and rushed toward our feet.”
When I saw this ad on TV (while I was watching an episode of Murdoch Mysteries with my mum, as one does) I was like THAT’S WHERE I’M FROM. Proud moment. Come and visit some time.