Monday, July 28, 2014

Ringo Monogatari

A Tale of Apples

A folkloric tale with modern sly wit. Ringoko must help Henji recover his heart, lost to a mountain witch, if he is to live - but first she must persuade him he wants it back! This adventure story with the faintest blush of romance winds through Japanese mythology in a charming narrative.

I had the good fortune to meet the author, Rebecca Silverman, at her home on North Haven. I first took her for a college student; when she told me she is in fact a professor, I looked again to see that she is older than I thought, well and truly a grown up. She has an ethereal quality which I credit for my first impression, an innocence, as one whose heart is too tender for this world. This was reinforced as I met several of her cats, all rescues of one stripe or another. Rebecca has spent a lot of time in Japan, soaking up the legends. Ringoko, her heroine, though kind, is not tender!

Her sister, Jennifer, illustrated the book - also a magnet for cats in need of love! Jennifer is gregarious and open, a painter as well as an illustrator. In fact the whole family are creatives - their mother is a weaver; their father a potter; another sister, Marjorie Skiva, is the author of Seeking Shelter (and another cat lover!)

This is a unique book by a Maine author, engaging but light, a great summer read.

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