#throwbackthursday: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis

#throwbackthursday is a heady slice of nostalgia on the day before the day before the weekend, reliving a time when life was simpler and the future was brighter.

Not to be left out of the hashtag action, I’m going to share a book a week that made an impression on my childhood and reminisce about a time when reading was a mandatory part of my day and not a snatched fifteen minutes before succumbing to sleep.

There was only ever one runner for my first ever children’s book #throwbackthursday – The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis. I am a big Jarvis fan and I think I read everything apart from the Deptford Mice Trilogy when I was growing up. But The Whitby Witches was by far my favourite with it’s mix of Gothic romance, a devilish barghest and the reclusive fisher folk who could only be seen by those with “the eye.

It never fails to surprise me how many people not have heard of, or read this series. A quick Wikipedia rummage sees Jarvis described as ‘Stephen King, but for Young Adults’ which is about right because I remember being terrified reading most of Jarvis’ work. But you kept reading because the tight prose created such a vivid picture that you forgot you were reading words on a page; you were just watching the characters as they flitted between the leaves of the book.

That’s the feeling that I cherish about this book and to this day, it’s a quality that I ask of the books that I read. Because like all accomplished art, writing that feels like writing is never quite as enchanting as the text that leaves you reeling, uncertain of what just happened to you, but loving every minute of it.

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