Heir to Sevenwaters
It's two years ago today since I first read this book and I'm feeling all nostalgic.
I saved this book for two months after I bought it, carefully hoarding it in my hospital bag. Marillier is such an evocative and entrancing writer that I try to savour all of her books and being somewhat naive back then, I saved Heir to Sevenwater to ready during labour with my firstborn, the Sprocket.
Obviously I had a lot to learn.
I didn’t end up reading Heir to Sevenwater during labour (being too taken up with, oh, you know, the pain,) but the following night when I couldn’t sleep due to flashbacks of feeling vast gushes of blood pour out of me, of people pounding on me to try to stop the vast gushes of blood, of the sheer agony of someone pushing a needle through places where, let me be clear on this, needles should not go and yanking, repeatedly, of spewing forth fluid from nearly every orifice, of my baby crying and crying and me unable to hold him as they tried to stop the bleeding and stitch me up, I read it.
My beautiful baby was sleeping in his clear plastic crib beside me, his perfect face, round, small-featured and doll-like, framed in his swaddling, but whenever I tried to close my eyes, images of gore assailed me, so I gave up and lost myself in Marrilier’s World instead.
And she didn’t fail me.
Vivid and beautiful, based on myth and folklore but deeply Marrillier’s own, with yet another brave heroine, Heir to Sevenwater was well worth the wait.
Reading in the early hours of the morning, attached to a catheter and a tube for a blood transfusion, feeling floods of warm blood every time I so much as blinked, Heir to Sevenwater saved my sanity.
Along with Clodagh, I fell in love with the hero. I fell in love with the mythical ancient irish setting, and mostly I fell in love with the changeling woodland baby, who in his vulnerability and imperfectness seemed to reflect my own state. Awkward and needy and wild, the changeling babe is impossible not to love.
My love for the little changeling babe became intermingled with my love for my own new babe (although I have to say that apart from their babyness I do not think they bore many similarities, my baby being large and plump and soft and warm, with fingers that constantly moved like little sea aenenomes and an endearing ‘arf-arf’ as he tried to cope with all the milk, and the changeling baby being, well, twiggy)
So yes. Two years ago today, I read this book.
And it will always make me remember that time and smile, even while the tears prick at the back of my eyes, as it reminds me of my son when he was first born, and those special hours and days together, when we were first falling in love.