“Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat. The world was as dark as eyes closed, but perhaps the goats could smell dawn seeping through the cracks in the house’s stone walls. Though still half asleep, she was aware of the late autumn chill hovering just outside her blanket, and she wanted to curl up tighter and sleep like a bear through frost and night and day.”
I absolutely love the second line in that paragraph. There is something very primal about waking just before dawn. I think of sleepovers as a little girl, when everyone seemed to wake simultaneously in those first precious moments of the morning. Or camping with friends and family, and waking up in the dark because you know daylight is just seconds away. Whenever I experience this most basic of communal behaviours, everything feels very right, as if the whole of modern society is a corrupted version of what we actually are supposed to be.
I was initially very hesitant to pick up and read this novel. The title completely threw me off, it seems very junior. But I really need to stop second guessing Shannon Hale, and I really need to stop second guessing books that Carol recommends to me. She has not been wrong, and Shannon Hale, in my opinion, has not written a bad book.