This week’s Inheritance Books are from Dee Davis. Hi Dee, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Dee Davis, the award winning author of twenty-two books. The most recent, Dire Distraction, an A-Tac novel, is available now. When I’m not sitting in front of a computer monitor, I’m exploring Connecticut with my husband and Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Which book have you inherited from generations above? Why is it special?
I have a set of four pooh books from my childhood (Winner the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and Now we are Six). These particular editions were reprinted in 1959. The year I was born. The origin of the books is lost in time. But from a very early age I remember my mother reading to me from them. I can feel the warmth from cuddling close, the sound of her voice echoing up through her chest, the smell of her perfume surrounding me like a favorite blanket.
The Hundred Acre Woods was my early playground. Pooh, Christopher Robin, Owl, Eeyore, Rabbit., Kanga. All the gang. These were my friends growing up. My first, and most beloved teddy bear (somewhere in the attic in storage) was named Pooh –even though he looked nothing like his moniker. I wanted to wear Christopher Robin boots, and carry an umbrella. And just the idea of a ‘hunny’ pot made me rumbly in the tumbly.
I learned a lot from Pooh. How to stop and have a think when things are not going quite as planned. How to hum a little hum when I’m happy or nervous or even scared. I learned that there’s always adventure around the corner and that friends and family are more important than anything else. I learned that it takes all kinds of people to make up the world, and that no matter how gripy or dour, they all have something valuable to contribute.
I also learned that there is a magic from childhood that has to be carefully preserved as we move into adulthood. And that by revisiting A.A. Milne’s imaginary world, I can be transported back again to that sofa with my mother with the magic of the hundred acre woods all around me.
So as I sit and think back on that set of Pooh Bear books—now sitting in a place of honor on my office bookshelf, I wonder about the books I’ll leave behind—hopefully to be loved and cherished by someone I love—and despite the fact that I have so many “old friends” sitting on my bookshelf, I know the one I’d most want to pass on is Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Isn’t it incredible how timeless those books are. We used to live near Long Wittenham where the World PoohSticks Championships take place. I never made it past round 1. It was amazing how many people turned up on a cold spring morning to take part/watch.
Which book would you leave to generations below? Why?
Like Milne’s books, L’Engle’s Time trilogy (A Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Door) carried me away to another world. This time the heroine was a girl like me. Meg. A smart, funny, and fiercely loyal girl who hadn’t yet found her place in the world. And as Meg is drawn into an almost mythical journey to find and free her father, the power of love, in its many forms, is the central theme upon which the story draws.
The love of a mother and daughter. The love a daughter feels for her father, even when he seems to have abandoned them. The protective love that a sister feels for a younger brother. The budding love between Meg and Calvin, the “cool” boy at school. It is this love that not only drives the story, but resonates off the page. And reassures us with both its complexity and simplicity.
In a frightening world, where everything Meg knows to be true is questioned, where her father and brother’s lives are being threatened, she calls on the one true north. Her love for her family. And it is this love that ultimately saves them all in the end.
A Wrinkle in Time is a beautiful story—relevant at any age. But mostly, I would want to give it to that little girl, who is still finding her way, and maybe questioning what her place in the universe really is.
If you haven’t read it. Do. And if you read it years ago, read it again. Read about Meg, and Charles Wallace and Calvin. About Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which. And never underestimate the power of love.
Thank you for sharing you Inheritance Books with us, Dee. All the best with your latest book.