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Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Karen Cushman, Author of Alchemy and Meggy SwannDear Amazon Reader, Alchemy and Meggy Swann started, as all my books do, with a "what if?" What if there was a man who was a poisoner in Queen Elizabeth's court? Why did he do it? How did he feel about what he did? The idea of making the man an alchemist came later. What great cover, I thought, for a poisoner. So I immersed myself in the arcana of alchemy and the alchemist's search for transformation. And then, as in all my books, the focus changed to a girl--his daughter--how she felt and what she did. Transformation? Did Meggy seek to be transformed? How and why, I wondered. And so her wabbling was born. My husband once pointed out that The Ballad of Lucy Whipple told my own story of moving to California when I was ten, which came out in a book forty years later. The Loud Silence of Francine Green, and in a way, Matilda Bone, about a girl raised by a priest, and Rodzina, about a Polish girl from Chicago like me, are all my own stories. How then, I wondered recently, is Meggy's story my own? As I wondered, I took two more ibuprofen for my painful right knee. And there it was--after dealing over the past five years with my own pain and limited mobility, I gave these problems to poor Meggy. It seems I cannot write a book that does not in some way reflect me and my feelings and my life. And just as Meggy is transformed in ways she did not anticipate, so too did my story transform into hers. She took on a life of her own, and breathed on the page. I hope you enjoy meeting her and watching her grow in strength and awareness. Sincerely, Karen Cushman
(Photo © Crescent Studio, Vashon,WA)
A good book about growing through trials. Also teaches about the history of England.Published 4 months ago by Judy Davis
If you are at all interested in what life was like in early London, this book is for you! The author has a very sublime way of describing the surroundings and lifestyle so you can... Read morePublished 8 months ago by shelagh46
The author has written a very engaging story with a wonderful main character. I do wish there was a series of Meggy's stories.Published 13 months ago by Judyrem
I adore Karen Cushman. So far, I've loved all her books. As a former teacher and grandmother, I am constantly buying books for grandchildren and offspring of friends. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Old Fashioned Reader
Traditional Newberry Medal formula... check. BUT... you find yourself adoring the plucky Meggie, especially as she shows her quick wit and teaches the intolerant lessons, and you... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by B.
This book was very good. The author did a great job on research.I woulkd recomend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.Published on March 10, 2013 by Molly Zdunczyk
First line: "Ye toads and vipers," the girl said, as her granny often had, `ye toads and vipers,' and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room. Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by Madigan McGillicuddy