Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Lost Child of Lychford

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Lost Child of Lychford (2016) Paul Cornell

the-lost-child-of-lychfordIt’s December in Lychford, Lizzie’s first Christmas as Reverend of St. Martin’s–the busiest and most stressful time of the year in the church.

“The song ‘I Believe in Father Christmas,’” she continued to Sue and Oliver, her elderly churchwardens, twelve hours later, at their weekly meeting round the vicarage kitchen table, “should be banned. It should be a crime to play it. What else has he recorded? ‘Valentine’s Day Is Just to Sell Cards’? ‘Look Out for Wasps, It’s Summer’? Radio stations only play it because it’s got that nice bit with the jingle bells, but he’s doing that sarcastically. He’s doing sarcastic jingle bells.”

At times, Lizzie had wondered if the best way to deal with the added numbers might be some sort of video prologue. “Previously, in Christianity . . .”

A Christmas eve wedding added in is making things even more difficult, so when she discovers a ghost following her, she turns to her fellow witches, Judith and Autumn, for help.

I really adore these characters. And I love that one of the main characters is an elderly woman with a strong personality.

“Oh, look at you two, like unicorns at your first orgy,” said Judith, for all the world as if that were a thing people said.

Another favorite thing are the bits of life the appear in asides, even in this novella.

Autumn leapt back in her chair. A voice had actually come from her computer. A horribly familiar voice. Then the face associated with that voice appeared, looking out of the corner of her screen, incarnated as a cartoon version of himself. “You seem,” said Finn, “to be having trouble opening an email. Can I help with that?”

“No you bloody can’t. What are you doing inside my computer? Here, can you see my downloads?”

“I’m only ‘inside your computer’ in the sense that I’m an email. Can an email see inside your computer? Hey, what’s in here, anyhow?”

Autumn was in no way going to answer that. She’d once got very drunk with Lizzie and started talking about her very specific tastes in fan fiction, and thank God the Reverend had claimed in the morning not to remember a thing.

There is also a mystery–the lost boy of the title–and that is also good, but I think my favorite bits are the dialog between the women.

She felt Judith’s hand land on her arm, like the skeleton grabbing out from one of those old novelty money boxes. “You’re with me, my apprentice,” she said. “We’re going to try summat.”

“Every day,” said Autumn, “you remind me more of the Emperor from Star Wars.”

Judith considered that for a moment. “Nice to finally get a bit of respect,” she decided.

I really love these two books, and highly recommend them.
Rating: 9/10

Published by Tor


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