This book is an addictive read – once you start, you really have to keep going.
Cassie and her future-seeing make for fascinating reading. I found the child and then teenage perspective totally credible, and in fact it reminded me of my own early years when adults were very annoying and unpredictable, and the last person you would turn to.
Cassie is fortunate in having her grandfather and great aunt living with her and her family on the farm, because the generation gap allows for more real communication.
Her new and unusual neighbour Athena is a wonderful character, and I would like to know more about her – where she came from, where she went to – and am still wondering at the end of the book. Cassie, her brother Alex, and Athena steal the show for me. Characters I love. Yes, tears were shed … but you need to read it to find out why!
A page-turning, moving exploration of potential, imagination, and how to deal with everything real life throws at you.
I was disappointed in Cassie’s mum and her eventual decisions, but I won’t go right into that. See what you think. Cassie’s perspective on that is completely convincing and made my heart ache for her – but that happened quite a bit in this book.
This week, I’m chatting with the intriguing Kathryn Gossow, whose YA novel Cassandra (published by the magical Odyssey Books) explores questions of future, knowledge, love, and fanily duties.
Last Word of the Week: Hi Kathryn! Tell us, when did you write your first story?
Kathryn: The first story I remember writing in primary school was about the moon and a little girl falling in love. When the moon had to return to the sky, it slipped out of the girl’s grasp and you can still see her hand print on the moon. I remember writing the line ‘forgotten like the man who invented matches’ which impressed my teacher. In grade 7, I wrote the end of year play. It was about a girl trapped on an alien planet at Christmas time. The aliens feel sorry for her and organise Christmas for her including an upside down tree and an electric dustpan for a gift.
LWOTW: What do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
Inspiration rests in our dreams and imagination, but have you ever had someone try and tell you about their weird dream? Dreams don’t confirm to storytelling conventions. On the other hand, have you ever read a washing machine manual? Too much planning and the heart that comes from the inspiration – the dream or imagination – loses its emotional impact. There needs to be a balance – like eating both your vegetables and your cake.
LWOTW: First time I’ve though of writing as a balance between vegetables and cake! Nice. What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
This year, by far, it was having my book Cassandra short listed in the best fantasy novel category of the Aurealis Awards.
LWOTW: Fantastic achievement, Kathryn. Congrats! What are you busy with at the moment?
So crazy, crazy busy. I am working on my new book about a librarian who can heal people with books. I am editing my almost completed collection of short stories – The Dark Poet. I am also on the marketing train with my first book Cassandra. Then there is blogging and sending stories to magazines. I also have to dust my house, prune my stone fruit trees, buy a new thingamabob for my broken swivel mirror…do you really want the whole list?
LWOTW: I reckon that’s enough to be getting on with 🙂 If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Put your bum in the chair and write. It won’t write itself.
You’re right there – and no one else will write it for you either. Thank you so much for your insights, Kathryn, and all the best with the writing. And the thingamabob of course.