Monday, 19 March 2012

Book of the Week - The Land of Decoration, Grace McCleen

The Land of Decoration is a first novel by Grace McCleen, who grew up as a member of a fundamentalist religion with little contact with the outside world. A teacher's suggestion that she apply to university changed the course of her life: association with unbelievers and further education were viewed as suspicious by her religion. She attended Oxford and lost her religious faith. Subsequently, when a long illness confined her to bed, she started to write songs and fiction. The Land of Decoration seems to draw heavily on her upbringing, as well as her imagination. She has an excellent and quirky website which highlights a number of her other interests. Reviews of the book are excellent, and signed and dated copies can be picked up now at cost (Chatto, Hardcover). I think this book may do very well – recommended.

“Judith and her father don't have much -- their house is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother she's never known. But Judith sees the world with the clear Eyes of Faith, and where others might see rubbish, Judith sees possibility. Bullied at school, she finds solace in making a model of the Promised Land -- little people made from pipe cleaners, a sliver of moon, luminous stars and a mirror sea -- a world of wonder that Judith calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow indoors (using shaving foam and cotton wool and cellophane) there will be no school on Monday...

Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. She has performed her first miracle. And that's when her troubles begin.”


Anonymous said...

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Trapnel said...


Many thanks! looks like a very interesting initiative. I will have a look around in more detail when I get a chance and will post a link.

Best wishes