After hearing Neil Gaiman interviewed via Zoom live at this year’s ComiCon sponsored by our Brazoria County Library System, I decided to renew my acquaintance with the author I often use in class with his video address, “Make Good Art.”

One of the things I did was listen to Gaiman’s The Graveyard on Hoopla, which is also provided by my county library system.

A scary, often thrilling read

A child who survived the brutal murder of his parents and sister, escapes the sadistic killer by tottering into a nearby graveyard. The toddler is protected and adopted by the dead who inhabit the abandoned graveyard. He is named, “Nobody”. The murderer known as “Jack” searches ruthlessly for the child, but is put off and led astray by the ghost-like graveyard’s tenants.

What happens to the child, and to Jack fleshes out the story, which is narrated by the author himself. Gaiman’s tone and voice are pleasing and do a lot towards creating the supernatural “feel” of this strange tale.

I was introduced to Gaiman’s work through the novel, Everywheres, which My Better Half and I both read one summer. I then read all the Gaiman graphic novels our local library owned, enjoying The Sandman the most. After Gaiman won an Oscar for his animated film, Coroline, I took a look at it, and surprisingly enough found a tale teens often identify with, failing to, then appreciating their parents in much the way young Coroline came to do. It is a strange tale from a strange and highly creative mind.

I will probably follow Gaiman to an extent as a very creative individual and an outstanding author for a long time.

F I WERE YOU, An Audiobook by Lynn Austin

This is a new audiobook by Lynn Austin, read by Sarah Zimmerman. It is labeled a “Christian Romance,” but it does not preach or chide; it just teaches by exampled. One critic calls it “a novel of sisterhood and self-discovery.”

Set in WWII and in 1950, just after, the novel compares the stories of Audrey Clarkson, “born to the manor,” and her servant, Eve Dawson. Opening at the impressive Wellingford Hall, the novel has an “Upstairs/Downstairs” quality about it as it traces the lives and activities of the two women. Then comes the war.

Although they have lost track of each other, the two women make contact once again in 1950 under the strangest of circumstances. I don’t want to give the plot away, but it involves an act on the part of one which normally would be unforgivable to the other.

This is a splendid “read” and makes for easy listening.