A Song For Ella Gray. This is an incredible contemporary retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth that chronicles the vignette in the lives of friends Ella and Claire, two sixth-form girls in the North East landscape of deserted, disused shipyards. Enter the vagrant Orpheus, re-emerged in this dreary landscape who so entrances Ella with a love so consuming that Claire loses her best friend to this mysterious stranger. As tragedy ensues, Claire creates a narrative elegy that is powerful, passionate and deeply felt. Almond places the reader firmly in the emotional landscape of the 17-year-old with eloquence, grace and a genuine voice; and beauty echoes this with the landscape which he chose to set his tale. Simply amazing.
Upon accepting the award, Almond explained;
" as a tale of youth and yearning, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is
“perfect for the young … first love is the first of all loves, first
recognition of death the first such recognition. The teenage years are
the times of the deepest visceral awareness of the mystery and wonder of
the human condition, the strange disturbances of body and soul.”
A hearty congratulations to David Almond, whose many books have enchanted and fascinated me for many years. His pivotal Skellig remains firmly in my best-books list, as I feel it is a book everyone should read at least every 2 or 3 years, as it completely, yet subtly changes your perspective. And A Song For Ella Gray is pure magic, filled with life and depth.