The big news this week is Binary; but the Gemsigns paperback is also out in the UK on Thursday, and it’ll be published in hardback in the US in a month. Ahead of that the reviews from our American cousins are starting to come in, and I have been overwhelmed by the reactions so far. So in honour of readers like Bookworm Blues and the Little Red Reviewer, here’s a passage from the mind of the youngest protagonist:
He felt Papa look in on him from the kitchen, nod approvingly and step back to check on something in the oven. He didn’t look up. Papa was really good about letting him be, making sure Gabriel knew he was there but not interfering. They were relaxed with each other. Mama would always ask if he wanted something, get down on the floor to play with him or ruffle his hair as she passed. She worried he might not feel right if she didn’t, but really it was more for her than him. He could feel how happy she got when she held him in her arms, gave him a bath or read him a story. They both took care of him, but her need for it was more urgent and anxious than Papa’s.
Gabriel didn’t mind. Mama’s fierce love could be overwhelming, but it made him tingle with happiness. She was home a lot less so most of the time it was just him and Papa, in whose calm, steady affection it was easy to feel safe.
He knew they both worried about him, but they didn’t get scared the way his old parents had. He had a vague memory of the way the people he used to call Mummy and Daddy had flinched and tightened up their minds when he came into the room.
Everything else about them had almost completely faded away. He thought there might have been another place between that long-ago past and the bright present with Mama and Papa, but he wasn’t sure. There was a black space in his head, a yawning gulf of nothingness that lapped right up to the edge of his awareness, and everything on the far side of it was faint and fading. He couldn’t remember much from before Mama had pulled him out of the rubbish and brought him home.
– Gemsigns (UK paperback), ch4, pp48-49