Madeleine Tully is fourteen years old. She lives with her mother in an attic flat in Cambridge, England. She likes to wear bright colours. Her mother, Holly Tully, likes chocolate.
Madeleine and Holly were once wealthy. They used to follow Madeleine’s father all over the world —to Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and further north, to places that seemed half-imaginary. There were yachts, hotels, champagne on terraces; they used to float on moonlight-laced rivers.
But eight months ago, they ran away.
Now Holly makes a living mending clothes, and dreams of winning a tv quiz show. Madeleine has no confidence in her mother’s quiz show plans. Her own secret dream is that her father will turn up and return them to their former spangled life.
Then Madeleine finds a note hidden in a parking meter.
Help me, says the note, I am being held against my will.
The note is from the Kingdom of Cello.
People often ask why I decided to set half of this book in Cambridge, England.
I once spent three years living there—in a a small attic room with sloping ceilings. My window overlooked a garden that was wild with daffodils and freesias. Each night an owl hooted in a tree just outside. At dusk, friends and I would punt down the river eating strawberries and drinking champagne. In the summer we went
to May Balls: all-night black-tie parties where you’d float between courtyards. In one you’d find a dance floor and a swing band, in the next a ferris wheel.
I was in Cambridge when I turned 30. Early on the morning of my birthday I
woke to a faint, crackling sound.
‘There’s a present in your pillow,’ said my boyfriend-of-the-time.
‘Shhh,’ I said, and fell straight back to sleep. I remember I had a super-cool
dream in which I knew how to surf.
When I woke again, my boyfriend was still waiting.
‘There’s a present in your pillow,’ he repeated.
Inside my pillowcase were plane tickets to Venice.
So that was the sort of thing that happened in Cambridge—in fact, it’s possible that the whole thing was just one giant, super-cool dream. Either way, it seemed to me like exactly the right place to find a note from a different world in a parking meter.
Holly Tully likes chocolate. So do I. Just yesterday my six-year-old was lecturing
me on how much chocolate I eat.
‘You should have just one chocolate a day,’ he suggested.
I agreed, with sinking heart, that he was probably right.
This morning the girl at the supermarket said, ‘Now that’s a lot of chocolate!’ as she scanned one bar after the other.
I laughed and nodded but in my head I was saying: ‘You think this is a lot? You should see how much I usually buy.’
I like to choose songs for each of my characters, and play one before I write a scene about them. This is either an effective technique for getting into character, or procrastination.
These are Madeleine’s songs :
Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Fanfarlo – These Walls are Coming Down
The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
The National - Lemonworld
The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony (because it was playing a lot when I lived in
About A Corner of White
A tale of two worlds, told in brilliant color.
Readers have loved bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty since The Year of Secret Assignments. Now she gives them A Corner of White, the first in a suspenseful, funny, genre-busting trilogy that brings her fantastic characters, laugh-out-loud descriptions, and brilliant plotting to a fantasy setting.
Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge, England (in our world).
In another world, in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle Jon was found dead. The talk in the town is that Elliot's dad may have killed Jon and run away with the physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.
As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries. On both sides of the gap, even greater mysteries are unfolding — with more than one life at stake.
· Moleskine journal
· Coffee mug
· Copy of A Corner of White
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Be sure to stop by Presenting Lenore for the "Yearning for Yellows" feature on the tour.