My Life, Opinion

The Moonspinners

I heard someone say that a person should read a book 100 times and write a book 100 times. This article in the Guardian discusses this:

Author and columnist Stephen Marche, who has perused PG Wodehouse and Hamlet more than 100 times each, extols the virtues of literary repetition

I tend to read and re-read books. It is like visiting an old friend and reminiscing about the good times we had. Of course, my choices are not nearly as lofty as Stephen Marche’s PG Wodehouse or Hamlet. My favorite book is called The Moonspinners, written by Mary Stewart. I read it the first time when I was a young teenager–maybe 12 or 13–and over the years have read it at least 1 or 2 times a year.

I wish now, I had kept track of how many times I have read it. I am certain at least 100 times.

Photo by Maria Krasnova on Unsplash

I bought a paperback version when I was a teen and over years I read it to death. The spine was broken and many pages were yellowed from age and dog-eared. The pages started falling out until I had a stack of papers that were not attached together. That book is now in a keepsake box and held together with a ribbon. I have since purchased a Kindle Version of the book so I don’t have to worry about losing pages 136 and 203.

I started reading the book again two days ago. The story is the same Gothic Romance I remember. I have passages from the book memorized and can quote literally pages of the story. It is the story of an English girl who goes to Crete on her Easter vacation and gets embroiled in a drama of murder, kidnapping, jewel heists, and intrigue. She encounters bad guys everywhere and barely escapes with her life and limbs intact. As a bonus, she gets the guy in the end.

My love affair with this story hasn’t dimmed over the years. In fact, reading it with much more mature eyes adds something to the story that I missed when I was a teen. Mary Stewart fully developed her heroines. No vapid, silly, immature girls here. They embody strength, virtue, athleticism, and courage.

Mary Stewart wrote many mystery romance stories and I have read them all. This one stands at the pinnacle…the best of the best.