Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The ending of HILD

From: Christine

I was at your reading for Hild at the Elliott Bay Bookstore on Friday evening*. I did not have a book for you to sign, but did tell you that I had spent 3 weeks in Yorkshire this past summer. I spent time in Leeds, and visited the site of Kirkstall Abbey twice while in Leeds. I stayed with friends in Horsforth. After Leeds, the trip took me to the Dales, and the Moors, including a stay at the Youth Hostel at Whitby Abbey. I had the occasion to hike in the Dales, Moors, and on the Cleveland Trail along the Coast. While visiting the Whitby Abbey, I became very interested in learning about the early church that had been at the site, prior to the Abbey being built.

When I stumbled upon a review of Hild in the Real Change, I knew that I had to read it.
At any rate, after the reading I told you that I had almost finished reading the book and you asked me to let you know how I liked the ending. I found it fascinating. I read it over at least three times, and went back to the beginning and re-read that twice as well.

Needless to say, I will be waiting for the next book.
I am jealous of your trip! Last time we were in the UK (last month) I didn't have time to do anything but readings and talks and things at various bookshops and universities and libraries. But I longed to roam Hadrian's Wall and get up to Whitby, spend the time of time in the north of her world that we did a year or two ago at places like Caer Loid (Kirkstall) and Aberford (which is, er, Aberford). There are photos of those places here on the blog somewhere but I'm writing this on the road and not my desk and searching a tiny screen is not the easiest thing in the world...

The ending of Hild tends to take people by surprise, but I also tried to make it feel inevitable. As I worked I held an image in my head of finishing the edges on a piece of weaving: folding back the threads, tucking them in, making sure there are no rough edges. And creating a kind of symmetry I find pleasing. I'm glad you did, too.
* Halloween

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