A Song For Ella Grey by David Almond
Published by Hodder Children’s Books
Published 2 October 2014
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
“I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and how they died.”
Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.
I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the story. I knew them both, knew how they lived and how they died. It didn’t happen long ago. I’m young, like them. Like them? Can’t that be possible? Can you be both young and dead? I don’t have to think of that. I need to cast the story out and live my life. I’ll tell it fast and true and get it gone, right now, while darkness deepens over the icy North and the bitter stars shine down. I’ll finish it by morning.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading the author. I have his book, My Name Is Mina, unread on my Kindle.
I thought A Song for Ella Grey was fantastic. This is one of those rare, magical books that reaches right inside your heart and squeezes so hard you can’t breathe. Is Orpheus just a boy, a beautiful boy with a talent for singing and charm or is he a creature from myth? Apparently this book is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I didn’t know this when I read it though it makes perfect sense given the descriptions of Orpheus and his talents and his quest to find his love, Ella. I’ve heard of Orpheus and Eurydice but never knew the whole story which meant I could enjoy A Song for Ella Grey on its own merit and not as a retelling. This book is beautifully written and I enjoyed every page. I loved the section where Orpheus journeys into death. The pages at this point are black and the text is printed in white. This shouldn’t really work but does. A Song for Ella Grey is amazing and I would recommend it.