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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Book Review : 'Half Sick of Shadows' by Richard Abbott

Half Sick of Shadows’ by Richard Abbott is an adaptation of a ballad by Tennyson. A poem, that many of us have read, enjoyed and loved. It is a retelling of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shallot’.

At a stonewalled house in an olden time in Britain, this particular story starts off with the unnamed Lady’s birth. In the house, surrounded by nature the Lady wakes, at first. Everything seemed new, from the flowers and the leaves. Here, all there was to do was eat, sleep and change. As a little child, she just did that much, and there was no one, except a Mirror which would keep on guiding her.

Time passed, as the Lady went to sleep again. Then as time moved on, another age is born. She has begun to grow, but the form, which she finds herself drawing from, is too thin and exasperating. She slept again, and this time she awoke yet again. Times are passing and changing. She wishes for people to value her but they seem to be changing and missing.

As she continues to hibernate, she wakes again, this time she can watch and even stroll and even begins to build an outline. And with it, the world too. The earliest hunters to the tiny settlements, to even the medieval times. She can see the world, but she always seemed curbed and away from everything. 

The Mirror is her only guide; she is allowed to sing now and then but the pall could always be drawn between her world and the other world. She always desires and wants to see the rest of the world, but her life is always so restricted that it never seems to happen.

She seems educated and learned of the world around her as the mysterious Mirror continues to guide her and set her on the path. Everything and everyone seems different. There are animals, birds and beasts, which look and feel different from the last time. Even her home seems changed every time she awakes. The people on the outside of her tower worship her as they think her a divine being. She manages to bond with a few, as she discovers her own power and her dangerous position she seems to be in.

Her only guide is the Mirror and she can see that she has changed so much over the years. She considered herself, she thought of herself, her own roots and feelings.

Richard Abbott
The Mirror captures all this, and with it, it captures all of the Lady’s movements, her conversations with the few beings of the world that surround her, the times she talks to a little boy, a woman, a man, sometimes even a King, and a Queen.

She keeps at it, as eras go by. She discovers the beauty of the web, she must weave. But she never had discovered the idea of sharing, because it has never occurred to her. She left behind most of these and kept on moving through the time. Would she ever stop? Would she discover why everything around her was so? Will she know if it was to end? I would say give both of them a read, the poem and this book. Both of them are equally worth it... :)

 You can Buy the Book, right here.
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