August 1, 2012

Hold Fast

I remember reading Hold Fast one evening when I’d accompanied my mother to university.  She was doing her master’s in Education, and since I was a child who infinitely preferred hanging out in a library to staying home with a babysitter (whom we probably couldn’t have afforded, anyway), she took me along as usual.

That particular evening, she’d taken me to the Education library, which was a less interesting place from my perspective (there was something spookier and therefore intriguing about Morrisset, the larger arts and science library), but which had a few aisles of quality children’s literature.  I browsed the shelves just as I would in a regular library and stumbled upon Kevin Major’s classic, which held me spellbound until my mother’s class was over.  Since it was a library book and not one of my own, it's one of the few books I loved as a child that I have not since reread (as opposed to many others I’ve reread half a dozen times or more).  Until I read a little about it as an adult, I couldn’t have told you it was set in Newfoundland, though it may have subliminally helped set in motion my love of that place…I’ve hitchhiked along the same highway since, and visited Gros Morne, the (truly spectacular) national park that Michael and his cousin Curtis are trying to reach after they run away.  At the time, I was a major devotee of L.M. Montgomery and all of her books about orphans and their extended families, and Hold Fast was a story about an orphan that seemed so brutal, harsh, and realistic in comparison – it felt like a very adult book to be reading at nine, and maybe that's why it was so memorable for me. 

The occasion for this reminiscence is that they are making a movie of Hold Fast (with the wonderful Molly Parker).  I hope the filmmakers can do it justice!  

Speaking of Lucy Maud, the first volume of her complete journals have just been published.  I once took her selected journals out of the library (though this was probably also around the age of nine or ten) and found them spectacularly boring, despite my best efforts.  But I'm intrigued by these more complete editions, although no doubt I'd find even the selected journals more interesting now than I did back then.  

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