Tag Archive: Granny Weatherwax

Jan 06

My Book a Week Challenge: Book 1

WHAT’S PLAYING: Alison Krauss “Down to the River to Pray”

I decided to kick off the challenge with one of my favorite books in which three witches make the Godmother an offer she can’t refuse: “Witches Abroad” by Terry Pratchett.

When fairy godmother Desiderata Hollow dies unexpectedly, she leaves Princess Emberella in the care of the other – evil – godmother, Lilith. Now it’s up to Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick to save a city and make sure that the princess doesn’t marry the handsome (frog) prince.

“Witches Abroad” is about many things: good and evil, free will, balance, but it’s mostly about the power of stories. Of course, any writer can tell you about the power of stories, how they affect us in ways we can’t explain. Make us feel things, change the way we look at the world and each other. This is one of those stories.

This book delves into some of our favorite childhood stories and turns them inside out. Little Red Riding Hood is an obnoxious brat and the big bad wolf is neither big nor bad, just a wolf tragically altered by a demented fairy godmother obsessed with stories and happy endings. As Terry Pratchett put it: “Lilith held a mirror up to life, and chopped all the bits off life that didn’t fit…”

Dive into this book and you’ll find several of your favorite stories waiting for you: including The Hobbit, the Three Little Pigs, the Wizard of Oz, and Sleeping Beauty.

The thing about Terry Pratchett novels is that I always walk away feeling smarter. The writing is superb, full of real-world allusions and tongue-in-cheek humor, all of which is great. I leave them entertained, but also wiser. The way he takes universal truths and couches them in humor is awe-inspiring.

Favorite Line: “Listen, happy endings is fine if they turn out happy…You can’t make happiness…all you can do is make an ending.”

What I Learned: Stories should be like life. Love, laughter, tragedy, horror and humor, all blended together to make life worth living. Any story worth telling should make us think, feel, laugh, cry and cheer. They should show us life as it is and how it should be. Anything else is just words on a page.

Coming next week: “The Enchantress of Florence” by Salman Rushdie

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