Reviving the Spell of Childhood


The novel Waldensong Saturnalia begins in bleak November as the Saturnalian season approaches. The stolid Christian Mission building has supplanted the memory of the Jewish burial-ground of centuries past. A hull-shaped corner house with its high porthole window evokes the ‘eye of God’ gazing darkly onto the street. Here in London East, the war may be over but the gaping bomb-site remains.

Once a mediaeval pastoral woodland alive with birdsong, Walden Street is now a huddled commune of brick terraces; a shell-shocked survivor of the Blitz. It's a real landscape and also a mythical landscape existing in real time.

Emerging from this landscape, Angie—as self-appointed evangelist—is the voice linking the shards of the story together in language that is dense, poetic, impressionistic and lyrical. And this personal gospel is an exaltation of human events—whether mundane, dramatic, humorous or tragic—into legend.

As romancer—and also necromancer—she revisits the mythic years of her childhood. From here, she resurrects a story that would otherwise sink into oblivion: Waldensong, ‘Song of the woods. Saturnalia, ‘Defiant celebration of life in the midst of darkness.’

And so as such, it’s an archeological dig. A will to reclaim what has been lost and restore what is passing: a fusion of memory and imagination, since memory is fallible and incomplete, as in any recorded gospel.

We encounter classical, pagan and religious motifs that are full of symbolic irony: the mock Christ-figure represented by the reluctant Patriarch, Taddeusz; the heroic procession of Madonnas, Libertines and Aunt Goddesses that populate the theatre of Angie's childhood: all of them jostling and clamouring to achieve a ‘Second Coming,’ their renaissance into legend.


REVIEWS

  • I was impressed by the sophistication of the language, the sense of place, Iain Sinclair, British novelist, Selection Judge, Eastside Stories Competition, London, U.K., 1995

  • Fairly sings off the page, it is that lyrical. A masterful job, Kathy Green, Magazine Editor, New York, U.S.A.

  • A novel that spans a century and three continents to delve into the shadows of memory and the imagination, Howard Bokser, Editor, Concordia University Magazine, Spring 2010

  • A masterful writer; every word counts, Trevor Lockwood, Chairman, Radio Host, Felixstowe Community Radio, U.K.

  • It’s a fictional world that I was reluctant to leave, Mary Fitzpatrick, Artist, Digital Illustrator.

  • I enjoyed it very much—well written and dark, Cecile Ghosh, Cataloguing and Reference Librarian, Roxboro and Beaconsfield Libraries.

  • It covered about 100 years of history; it went all over the world… with people having every kind of human emotion you can imagine, Leslie Lutsky, Radio host, Jewish Digest, Radio Centreville, Montreal, Quebec.

  • Waldensong has gripped me—There is so much, so much to absorb. I don't think I've ever read a family "saga" like this. What a profound effort, Len Richman, Teacher, author, scholar.

  • The writing is gorgeous-;lyrical, polished and rife with symbolism. The two characters Greta and Lily are painfully real and alive…this seems like an extraordinary book. What a triumph! Angela Leuck, Haiku poet, Montreal, Quebec.

  • Waldensong Saturnalia is really a fine achievement. When I'd finished it, I felt as if I'd been on a long journey through time as well as geographically ... great powers of description: I can see the characters and places very clearly, Joan Plunkett, Actress/Educator, London, U.K.

  • Such rich language; I loved it, Ingrid Style, Artist

  • I am reading WALDENSONG SATURNALIA now and absolutely loving it. You are a truly gifted writer. Beautiful writing... I'm 60 pages into it and find it brilliant; "Dickensian" - amazing, It's the best thing I've seen in a long time…, Ann Diamond, Author of My Cold War.

  • I have recently finished Waldensong Saturnalia and it is very impressive. I am now back in London and traveled this morning through the East End where I felt the presence of many of the characters…You deserve all the plaudits…You have produced a really significant piece of work, Timothy Moon, Writer, Berlin, Germany.

BOOK ORDERING INFORMATION
WALDENSONG SATURNALIA
ISBN: 978-1-894967-33-4. Format: Softcover, 6" by 9". 486 pages.
Price: $25.00 Canadian. FREE SHIPPING


Price: $25.00 Canadian. FREE SHIPPING



PRINCE CHAMELEON PRESS
Telephone: (01) 514-807-4171
Address: 1192 Egan Street, Verdun, Quebec, H4H 1W7, Canada
Email: Publisher, CHRISTINA MANOLESCU: christina at princechameleon.com
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