geraldine-mccaughrean

Not everyone can be rich. Not everyone can be strong or clever. Not everyone can be beautiful. But we can all be brave. We can all look danger in the face and be glad to meet it. Courage is just there for the taking; you don’t need money to buy it. You don’t need to go to school to learn it. Courage is the thing, isn’t it?
—  from Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean

It has been over two years and I have discovered:

I AM NOT OVER THE WHITE DARKNESS. NO I AM NOT.

TITUS. MY LOVE. SYM. MY BRAIN TWIN.

This book meant SO much to me - because Sym is the first person I found in a book who also had someone else in her head, without it being a symptom of insanity. 

Someone that you know was imaginary but who you still talk to everyday. To the point where they begin to feel like their own entity. You aren’t conscious of deciding what they are going to say.Their voice is no longer your voice. They become independent of you but they are always there. It’s really very comforting. 

Sym has Titus and even though she know’s he’s imaginary - that real Titus has been dead for years - she still reaches out for him and he answers. So she is never actually alone.

What is more, in the book he becomes her eyes - he sees what Sym sees but does not consciously process. Our eyes see so much every second they are open that our brains are constantly deciding what we will and will not focus on. Titus is the part of Sym’s brain that notices something but, deeming it immediately unimportant, tucks it away for a rainy day… or a snowy one as the case my be.

Seriously this book is amazing. Please read it if you get the chance.

The White Darkness - Geraldine McCaughrean

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

Favorite Romance: I’m not really into romance, so this might be a bit of a stretch, but the main character of The White Darkness, Sym, is in love with Captain Titus Oates, a British soldier who died on an expedition to the Antarctic in 1912. As Sym travels to Antarctica with her uncle, Titus, despite only existing inside of her head, ends up playing a key role that leaves you questioning whether he was just and imaginary friend or not. It’s an excellent book.

The air was crammed with snowflakes–as though a goose-feather pillow had burst. Without the red frock coat, Peter was gibbering cold, and he struggled to pull the white tie from round his throat.

“A match, Ravello. Let us get this fire lit and talk after!” called Curly.

“A match, Ravello. Quickly!” said Tootles. “Aren’t you cold too?”

“What’s the little word that gets things done?” said the Ravelling Man, his voice high and mocking. Then the explorers wanted to send him to Nowhereland and never have to speak to him again.

“Please,” said Wendy coldly.

“Please,” said Curly.

“Please,” said John.

Ravello gave a tug on the rope, and brought the wheeled sea chest back to his feet like a chastened pet. He opened its lid and took out a box of lucifers, shaking it gently: a sound like a baby’s rattle. Only one match left. “Tell me again, what’s the little word?”

“Please!” said Tootles.

“Please!” chorused the Twins.

(“Ah! Now I see!” said Peter to himself, puzzle solved.)

“PLEASE!” said all but Peter.

“WRONG,” said Ravello, striking the match against the stubble of his unshaven jaw. The flare lit up his face. It was a wretched face, scarred by his time in the crocodile, scarred by passing time where no time should have passed. Only the aristocratic tilt of his head and the fire in his bleached-brown eyes proved that Pan’s deadliest foe, Captain James Hook was still living within.

“Let me think now. What is the little word that gets things done? Ah yes. Now I remember….” Then he blew out the match and said,

“DIE!”

—  Geraldine McCaughrean, Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006).
Not everyone can be rich. Not everyone can be strong or clever. Not everyone can be beautiful. But we can all be brave! If we tell ourselves we can do it; if we say to our hearts, “Don’t jump about”; if we carry ourselves like heroes… we can all be brave!
We can all look Danger in the face and be glad to meet it, and draw our swords and say, “Have at you, Danger! You don’t scare me!”
Courage is just there for the taking: you don’t need money to buy it. You don’t need to go to school to learn it! Courage is the thing, isn’t it? […]
All goes if courage goes!
—  Peter PanPeter Pan in Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean
I know some things about Love, don’t I? Why Leander swam the Hellespont; why people do crimes of passion! I know how one word–“cavalry” or “Napoleon” or “Antarctica”–can make the world suddenly clash its gears and jolt so hard that you have to stop and lean against a wall and remember to breathe…
—  Geraldine McCaughrean, The White Darkness
Empires rise and fall. The gods, who can see the future, know these things. That is why the gods of Greece gradually shifted ground to the skies over Italy. They came to be known by different names: not Zeus but Jupiter; not Hera but Juno, not winged Hermes but winged Mercury.
—  Romulus and Remus, from Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean

He has never broken his terrible habit of eavesdropping. So, maybe that wasn’t the rustle of pages you heard while this story lasted, but Peter Pan himself, listening in. In exchanged for a story of yours, he might show you his most prized possession: James Hooks’ map of Neverland.

In exchange for a smile, he may show you Neverland itself.


Peter Pan In Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean

Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean is the official sequel to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. This book shows you the much darker side of Peter and all that has happened since his dear friends left to grow up. It is up to Wendy and the boys to save Peter from himself so that Neverland can become the magical place it once was. 

All over London as far afield as Fortheringdene and Grim’s Water, old boys got down old suitcases from their attics and took out all the courage they owned. They went to their banks and withdrew all the daring they had saved up over the years. They checked in all the pockets of all their suits and felt down the back of the sofa to muster all the bravery they could. And still it did not seem quite enough
—  Geraldine McCaughrean– Peter Pan in Scarlet
Peter Pan has never broken his terrible habit of eavesdropping.

So, maybe that wasn’t the rustle of pages you heard while this story lasted, but Peter Pan himself, listening in. In exchange for a story of yours, he might show you his most prized possession: James Hooks’ map of Neverland. 

In exchange for a smile, he may show you Neverland itself.

- Peter Pan in Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean

It’s true: Everyone needs a reason to stay alive – someone who justifies your existence. Someone who loves you. Not beyond all reason. Just loves you. Even just shows an interest. Even someone who doesn’t exist, or isn’t yours. No, no! They don’t even have to love you! They just have to be there to love! Target for your arrows. Magnetic Pole to drag on your compass needle and stop it spinning and tell you where you’re heading and…Someone to soak up all the yearning. That’s what I think.
—  Geraldine McCaughrean, The White Darkness