Have you met Murray Sheaffer, fountain pen extraordinaire? He is a most “handsome, clever and rich (yes!)” fountain pen.
Wondering how he could possibly fill the role of hero in Terry Griggs’s Cat’s Eye Trilogy?
Then you must have met some other, o-r-d-i-n-a-r-y pen. There’s no doubt that Murray has what it takes.
As does Linnet, a young wind-worker, with air currents — like zephyrs, squalls, and tempests — at her beck and call.
And of course Olivier, whom you may remember from Cat’s Eye Corner. But, then, he is the more obvious hero.
Though you could say that Cat’s Eye Corner itself – with its turrets, many chimneys, widow’s walk, gargoyles, weathervanes, its ornate front door with the lion door-knocker, and its magnificently wide staircase – more properly holds the starring role.
But you could also say that, when speaking of The Silver Door in particular, that honour goes to Peely Wally, the ghost who doesn’t believe he’s a ghost.
Bicker amongst yourselves on that point.
But what all readers can agree upon? It all begins with a book.
“Olivier lay awake, hands itching to seize the book. If he listened very very carefully, he could even hear it. It made a whispering and murmuring sound, a low hum of not quite audible voices, and light seemed to seep out of its pages, too, as though its covers were the closed doors on a luminous room.”
The third volume is a fitting conclusion to the series, both sustaining and elaborating upon what’s been established in the preceding volumes.
(You could read any of these as standalone novels, but of course, being obsessive about such things, I like to meet my characters when they’re first properly introduced.)
Here are some of my favourite bits, spoiler-free.
“‘Better check this out.” Olivier was already beginning to climb over a pile of rubber bath mats that were blocking the way, but then leapt back as the mats rose up like a startled flock of birds and took off in every direction. Pastel pink and green and blue bath mats flapped away, then began to settle farther off, once again in a pile, except for one black mat that wrapped itself around the base of an upended birdbath.”
Lest your attention wandered there, let me spell it out for you: f-l-y-i-n-g c-a-r-p-e-t-s.
And here’s some more to play with.
“NO TRESPASSING, TRAIPSING OR TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC!
ENTRY ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN, JUST FORGET IT, DON’T
EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, YOU PEDESTRIAN PEDESTRIAN!”
“But at present, children, I’m going to put the kettle on for tea. Would you like green tea, black tea, pink tea or purple tea with orange spots?”
If you like their playful tone, I think you’d love the cumulative effect of this storyteller’s spirit.
What series has satisfied you from start-‘til-stop?