Preporuka,  Strani autori

The Once and Future Witches, Alix E. Harrow

Obično se romani dijele na krimiće, ljubiće, drame, SF, fantastiku… A ima i nekih knjiga koje su sve i više od toga, pa su im korice premale za svijet koji čuvaju u sebi. Takva je knjiga i The Once and Future Witches, autorice Alix E. Harrow.

Godina je 1893. i vještica odavno nema. Spaljene su na lomačama i izgnane iz gradova i knjižnica skupa sa čarima i činima koje opstaju skrivene još samo u dječjim rimama i tajnovitim posvetama. Njihova je moć zakopana duboko pod naslagama pepela koje su za sobom ostavile lomače, a skupa s njom na vjetrometini surove svakodnevice ostale su žene: obične, vrijedne, požrtvovne. Nezaštićene.

“There’s no such thing as witches, but there used to be. It used to be the air was so thick with magic you could taste it on your tongue like ash.”

Ali… Je li to baš sasvim istina?

James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth i Beatrice Belladonna – tri izgubljene Eastwood sestre naći će se u New Salemu upravo u vrijeme jačanja sufražetskog pokreta. Iako su se odavno udaljile, privući će ih neka nevidljiva sila, otkrivajući im da čarolija možda još nije izgubljena. Dok im se iza leđa šuljaju zlokobne, neprirodne sjene i podmukle boleštine, dok se lomače ponovo pale a vještice dolaze na zao glas, tri sestre će se drznuti pobuniti protiv nepravde, probuditi staru magiju i potražiti izgubljeni put za Avalon, slijedeći mrvice čarolije ostavljene u dječjim uspavankama i pričama…

“The wayward sisters, hand in hand,
Burned and bound, our stolen crown,
But what is lost, that can’t be found?”

Možda je magija još tu. Možda ti treba samo snažna volja i pregršt ljubavi. Možda nije bitna boja kože, spol, novčići u džepu ni riječi koje izgovaraš. Možda, samo možda, postoji način da dobro pobijedi zlo, da se svaka žena izbori za sebe, da se sjene povuku i da svatko dobije priliku biti ono što jest. Možda ima još dovoljno hrabrih da na kocku stave sve – baš sve – za dobrobit onih koje najviše vole.

“I am terrified and I am terrible. I am fearful and I am something to be feared. She meets Miss Araminta’s eyes, dark and knowing, sharp and soft, and thinks maybe every mother is both things at once.”

Četvrti dan za redom mudrujem kako izraziti oduševljenje ovom knjigom i bojim se da nisam ništa pametnija no što sam bila na početku. Juniper, Agnes i Bella toliko su mi prirasle srcu, a bojim se da bih autoricu, da je sretnem na cesti, napala zagrljajem. Borba za prava žena, borba za prava homoseksualnih parova, crnaca i svih obespravljenih; poznate nam bajke, stihovi, izreke i brojalice u novom ruhu; mitologija i povijest – još uvijek mi je nevjerojatno da je Alix sve to uspjela pospremiti pod isti krov i zaokružiti u jednu toliko fantastičnu priču. Od prve do posljednje stranice Vještice su prožete magijom, ali ne samo onom zbog koje ćete, i nesvjesno, šaputati čarolije tijekom čitanja – nego i onom koja daje snagu i nadu da se vrijedi boriti i žrtvovati za prave vrijednosti.

“‘Witching and women’s rights. Suffrage and spells. They’re both . . .” She gestures in midair again. “They’re both a kind of power, aren’t they? The kind we aren’t allowed to have.’ The kind I want, says the hungry shine of her eyes.”

Upozoravam vas, ovo je jedna od onih knjiga koje ostave trag još dugo, dugo, i mogu samo reći da je prava sreća što neće ostati dostupna samo na engleskom jeziku. Naime, prava na hrvatsko izdanje pripadaju Mitopeji i iako sam pročitala original, ne mogu dočekati vidjeti kako će Alixine čarolije zvučati u Mitopejinom prijevodu. Ne obećajem da ih neću sve prepisati u moju vještičju tekicu i koristiti ih po potrebi 😉 Stilski, Alix piše nevjerojatno lijepo. Izvukla sam ravno 23 citata, i to uz poprilično suzdržavanje da ih ne bude još gomila. Svaka njena rečenica krije neku malu tajnu, neku važnu poruku ili značenje, a sve se skupa čita lako kao dječja brojalica, tako da se stranice same od sebe okreću do zore. I nije ti kasnije žao podočnjaka i čitateljskog mamurluka, dobra je to opijenost.

“A girl is such an easy thing to break: weak and fragile, all alone, all yours. But they aren’t girls anymore, and they don’t belong to anyone. And they aren’t alone. Come and get us now, you bastard.”

Iako mi je došla na samom kraju godine, The Once and Future Witches definitivno mi ide u top 10 najboljih ovogodišnjih knjiga. A konkurencija je zaista žestoka i leđa joj drže Bila jednom jedna rijeka i Trinaesta priča, Aliceina mreža i The Huntress, čitav Lainin serijal Kći dima i kosti plus Muza košmara, Allendeina Kći sreće, Priča o jednoj obitelji i nezaobilazni Lažljivi život odraslih. A tu je još bila i Kirka, House od salt and sorrows, Things in jars, Girl, serpent, thorn i The year of the witching. Pa vi vidite.

“People said he was a fighter, but he wasn’t really. He was a dreamer, always on about the eight-hour day and workers’ rights and utopia. It’s just that dreamers generally wind up fighting.”

A ako vas sve ovo već nije uvjerilo da Vještice morate pročitati, evo i dio onih citata:

“Witching isn’t all gone, of course. My grandmother, Mama Mags, says they can’t ever kill magic because it beats like a great red heartbeat on the other side of everything, that if you close your eyes you can feel it thrumming beneath the soles of your feet, thumpthumpthump. It’s just a lot better-behaved than it used to be.”

“A wise woman keeps her burning on the inside.”

“Books and tales are as close as she can come to a place where magic is still real, where women and their words have power.”

“Or we could win it all. If we stop worrying so much about what a woman should and shouldn’t do, what’s respectable and what’s not. If we stand and fight, all of us together.”

Don’t you want to give her a better story than this one?” Agnes does. Oh, how she does—to see her daughter grow free and fearless, walking tall through the dark woods of the world, armed and armored. To whisper in her ear each night: Don’t forget what you are. Everything.”

“It’s a risk just to be a woman, in my experience. No matter how healthy or hardworking she is.”

“Beatrice and her sisters chose nine o’clock in the evening because nine o’clock is a woman’s hour. The dinners have been served and the dishes dried and stacked, the children tucked into bed, the whiskies poured and served to the husbands. It’s the hour where a woman might sit in stillness, scheming and dreaming. But on the seventeenth of May, some of them are doing more than dreaming.”

“You’re here because you want more for yourselves, better for your daughters. Because it’s easy to ignore a woman.” Juniper’s lips twist in a feral smile. “But a hell of a lot harder to ignore a witch.”

“James Juniper is just a girl, most of the time. The rest of the Sisters of Avalon are just maids or mill workers, dancers or fortune-tellers, mothers or daughters. Everyday sorts of women with everyday sorts of lives, not worth mentioning in any story worth telling. But tonight, beneath the Rose Moon of June, they are witches. They are crones and maidens, villains and temptresses, and all the stories belong to them.”

“Despair creeps toward her out of the deeps, the color of night, but Juniper does not let it take her. Instead—her voice tangling with the trickle of water, echoing against wet stone—she tells it a story.”

“…I wonder sometimes where the first witch came from. If perhaps Adam deserved Eve’s curse.” His smile twists. “If behind every witch is a woman wronged.”

“That’s all magic is, really: the space between what you have and what you need.”

“Together they dared to dream of a better world, where women weren’t broken and sisters weren’t sundered and rage wasn’t swallowed, over and over again. They began to build a new kingdom from rhymes and rumors, witch-tales and will. It might have been enough. But their new kingdom was stolen from them, burned to rubble and ash.”

“She knows that history digs a shallow grave, and that the past is always waiting to rise again.”

“One witch you can laugh at. Three you can burn. But what do you do with a hundred?”

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.