Brian Jacques died this weekend at the age of 71. Tor.com blogger Matt London wrote this lovely blog post about his own personal reflections on the author and his works and for the community to comment with their own memories.
Jacques is not the first author I've loved to have died since I started this blog. It feels a little rude to make a post commemorating him when I did not do the same for them. But I have a memory I want to share, so I'm writing this post anyway.
The first Redwall book I read was MOSSFLOWER. My friend Xu gave it to me as a birthday gift. A gift for my twelfth birthday, in fact. A birthday notable because it occured a little less than three months after my parents' divorce. At the time, I knew that my mom was going to move with my sister and I to be closer to her family. Only one of my friends knew, and I asked her to keep it a secret.
From kindergarten to sixth grade I went to school with the same people. I had no idea how to tell them that I was leaving. I had no idea how to leave them. My mom wanted to move closer to her support network, but at the same time it was going to pull me away from my network.
In MOSSFLOWER, Martin the Warrior comes to the Mossflower Woods. He develops and leads a resistance to the wildcat Tsarmina, the wicked tyrant ruling Kotir Castle. It reminded me of my favorite book, WATERSHIP DOWN. Like many other books I read during that time, it also reminded me that moving could be a good thing. Homes wait in unexpected places, if you're willing to put in the effort to create a home.
Plus, nothing could have been more distracting than hunting through the school and city libraries to read the rest of the books in order and competing with my best friend to read them first.