I have blogged at length before about my love of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. When forced to pick a favorite book, I usually default to this one. I’ve read it countless times. In fact, I wore out two copies of the book before graduating high school. However, it has been a while since I last read it, so I decided to pick it up again. I forgot how good The Witch of Blackbird Pond is. I really, really, really love this book.
One reason I enjoy re-reading Georgette Heyer’s novels is that I always discover something new. She uses such subtlety with her characters that I constantly find I have missed something in my earlier reading. This is not the case with Elizabeth George Speare. However, that is not because The Witch of Blackbird Pond lacks subtlety. I have just read this book and daydreamed about it and analyzed it so many times that I almost think I could quote parts of it. Kit and Nat and Mercy and Judith are all old friends to me. I don’t think I could find a new side to them.
Re-reading this book after a long break, I’ve been struck by how much my enjoyment is mixed up with my familiarity with the story. I find a sense of identity and pleasure as much in remembering reading it as I do in actually reading it.
It is just like the Cornelia Funke quote in Inkspell:
“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?…As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.”
This is exactly the reason I added a “re-read” section to my challenge. It is so nice to re-read favorite books. Now if you will excuse me, I have almost reached the scene where Kit discovers the meadow, one of my favorite parts!