Writing Challenge – Booking Through Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is another variation on the page 123 theme post I did yesterday! But it needs more thought!

Pick up the nearest book. (I’™m sure you must have one nearby.)
Turn to page 123.
What is the first sentence on the page?
The last sentence on the page?
Now . . . connect them together’¦.
(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book’“that’™s cheating!)

Well, actually, the nearest books are a pile of unread books on the desk and because to answer this question I need to understand what has gone before page 123 I’m using the nearest book that I have read, which isn’t in the pile (it’s in another pile). It’s The Secret Garden and I wrote about that too yesterday (see here) and I haven’t put it back on the bookshelves yet.

The first sentence on page 123 is: Very soon afterwards a bell rang, and she rolled up her knitting.

The last sentence is: Colin was still frowning.

This is the scene in The Secret Garden the morning after Mary had met her cousin, Colin, whom she didn’t even know existed. She had found him the night before when she had heard him crying. He believes himself to be an invalid and has been allowed to do just what he likes all his life. The “she” in the first sentence is Martha, Mary’s maid. Martha and Colin’s nurse are both astonished at Mary’s effect on Colin and that he wants to see her. The nurse tells Martha that Mary has bewitched Colin and that he has demanded that she visit him again as he has been thinking about her all the morning. Mary goes to see him and tells him that Martha is terrified that she will lose her job because Mary has met Colin – his existence was being kept secret from Mary. Frowning, Colin orders Martha to be brought into his presence and is still frowning when Martha comes in shaking in her shoes in fear of what he will do and say.

He could easily fly into a tantrum, hates people to look at him and all the servants feared his rages. He has the power to dismiss them from his father’s house.

Of course you’ll have to turn the page over to read what happens next.

14 thoughts on “Writing Challenge – Booking Through Thursday

  1. Nice challenge response!I remember reading The Secret Garden as a young teen, and loving the atmosphere of it (although I probably wouldn’t have used that word then!)I also saw the musical version recently, which – of course – is a different interpretation, but still an interesting way to tell the story.


  2. Kat and Paula, I saw a film of it some years ago. I can’t remember who was in it but it was a good version. I’ll have to see if I can find out more. I can’t imagine a musical version!Gautami, if you do read it I’d like to read what you think of it.


  3. I’m enjoying all the different ways people are answering this weeks BTT. I haven’t read “The Secret Garden” but I’ve seen a great performance of the non-musical. Perhaps I should read it sometime.


  4. AHA… you answered this question differently that I thought we were supposed to — I treated it as a writing prompt, and made up my own words and story between the lines. Interesting.I love “The Secret Garden”. What a fabulous book.Happy BTT!


  5. I love The Secret Garden. I read and re-read that, and A Little Princess so many times when I was young … thanks for the reminder! 🙂


  6. I’ve read The Secret Garden a few times, and always loved it. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read it, though. You’ve reminded me it’s time to do so again! Thanks! 🙂


  7. I too loved The Secret Garden, and another favourite was Tha Painted Garden by Noel Streatfeild, which makes a wonderful companion read – it’s about making a film of The Secret Garden.


  8. As an English teacher i’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read it! Guess I’ll have to do something about it especially after reading your little tease!


  9. The songs in the musical are generally quite dramatic (not your light and fluffy fare). The musical theatre performers I know think it’s one of the most difficult shows to perform from a singer’s perspective, due to the complexity of the lyrics and melodies.It’s unusual, but I’d recommend it if you enjoy the book and have the chance to see it on stage.


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