This friend of mine is the pickiest person I ever try to buy gifts for. He prefers to buy his own clothes, music and so on – because no-one else can ever guess right – and he owns a single shelf of books – he’s confident they are the best books he’ll come across in this life – but he was ill, on a very restricted diet, and deserved a good present.
After some agonising, I hit on The Driftwood Tree. It’s a novel by Catherine Edmunds and John Benn from an original idea by Benn. It’s a good, sure-footed, absorbing read – but it’s not just a novel. It has original drawings and poems by Edmunds, works done during the editing process, so they are not just ‘illustrations’, and not just ‘let’s put some poems in’. The drawings explore the story, the story invites the reader to savour the poems, and the poems wash up out of the text like misty-morning wavelets, and speak eloquently to the drawings.
It’s a symphony of the arts, a lyrical celebration of the eternal outsider.
“The circumstances of his birth have made Peder an outcast, a driftwood tree on a weather-beaten shore, but this quiet man’s indomitable spirit might just enable his community of survivors to take root and thrive, along with the other lost children and drifters who gather along the tide line.”
It’s a story that does the heart good.
“one river to cross, one path to follow homeward”
The Driftwood Tree
by John Benn and Catherine Edmunds
My friend loved it as much as I had. It’s perfect for curling up in an armchair through the winter nights.
Or if you’re in or near Hastings, please contact me to order your copy post free.