2018, Chicken House
“This story starts with a dream, and its dreamer.”
William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest has been tangled inside me for years. The first production I saw of it was on a beach during a Melbourne winter; I was eighteen. It was raining and the actors were terrible, but, even so, I was entranced. With the tide coming in and the rain coming down, it had a raw impermanence. A wildness! Years later, I saw The Tempest outdoors again, in Wales, and it rained so hard that it was often impossible to hear the lines. Again, I loved it. I’ve often wondered whether it’s not the words of this play I love the most, but its’ atmosphere: its meandering between the realms of dream and reality. Its delightful strangeness.
That is what I have tried to capture in Storm-wake. An atmosphere. A state. A setting of a different kind – one that moves between reality and dream, one that is more of a feeling than a thought.
Most of all I’ve tried to capture Miranda’s – Moss’s – story. I’ve imagined what a different kind of Tempest might be like, one that focused on this (overlooked) character’s life and dreams. I imagined how this story could work in a world very much like our own and in a time very much like now. I also wanted to give power to Caliban through my character of Callan. To me, Miranda and Caliban are the most interesting and dynamic characters in The Tempest, and yet, they are the most put-upon, most dominated. What if their story was allowed to end differently? What if they could find endings they chose for themselves?
By constructing Storm-wake within a Shakespearean 5-Act play, I’m asking readers to move between being swept away in the ‘dream’ of the story, while also being aware that it IS a story I’m creating – one that invites its’ ‘viewer’ to notice this fact through the pauses between acts, in the interval, in an encore.
I hope Shakespeare would approve of what I was trying to do with Storm-wake: for Moss to realise she will be “the dreaming and the real, in one”.
“Marvelous and magical. Lucy Christopher startlingly shows us how every act of love is an act of creation . . . even when it destroys. A weird, wonderful ride into an unforgettable tempest.”
“The perfect book for anyone who needs a little more magic in their life.”
“Christopher, whose debut (Stolen, 2010) was a Printz Honor Book, uses elements from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to tell the story of another girl adrift. Through economy of language, she finds Moss’ voice; through clear, luminous prose, she anchors the story to the island, which seems half alive itself. A tale of strange magic and faith lost and found that packs no less a wallop for its slim size.”