Starting The Owl Service

When I felt up to blogging more than I do now, I used to do a “Starting” post for books where I’d give the cover and blurb. I’m not going to go back to that, but I’ve just started The Owl Service by Alan Garner as my first book for Once Upon a Time VII. It kind of has an introduction, which I’ve already put up on Goodreads. I’ll finish the post once I’ve read the book. But I wanted to share it here too. When I do the actual review, I’ll do a new post, but again put this introductory piece at the beginning.

The Owl ServiceThe Owl Service by Alan Garner

Written as I begin…

She wants to be flowers but you keep making her owls.

This will be a paraphrase rather than a direct quote, as it’s something I’ve always remembered, almost been haunted by, over the years since I read Alan Garner’s The Owl Service as a child. Every so often, that evocative phrase would bubble out of my subconscious and I’d think of it for a moment before going back to my everyday life.

She wants to be flowers but you keep making her owls.

Despite that deep memory, I’ve never reread the book. I was searching the shelves in the library a week or two ago, looking for books for Marcus, when I saw this edition sitting on the rack. I picked it up pretty much without thinking and checked it out on my card rather than his. I didn’t know if I’d read it, but that line floated up again and that’s why I brought it home.

When I started making up a book pool for Once Upon a Time VII, it seemed only sensible to add this to it. Before I knew what had happened, I realised it was going to be my first book for the challenge. It’s either based on, or a retelling of (I can’t remember which since I read it so long ago) the story of Blodeuwedd, a Welsh tale from The Mabinogion and now I’ve written this introduction, I shall go and read it. I’ll report back when I’m finished.


One response to this post.

  1. I’ve been thinking about reading this again! I read it long ago, too, over 20 years ago, and remember really liking it. It is about Blodeuwedd, and now that I know a little more – and have my hands on a copy of the Mabinogion, I can do it better justice when I do read it. I’m looking forward to your review, too, Kerry 🙂


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