Jukebooks: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

DarkestPartoftheForestFairfold is a strange place to grow up in. As the children play games in the woods, the climb upon the glass coffin of the horned prince. He has bee asleep there for as long as can be remembered. And it is well known that faerie folk live in those same woods. One or two tourist disappears every year. The townspeople have convinced themselves that they are safe, as long as they don’t act like tourists.

Hazel and her older brother, Ben, have spent their childhoods slaying monsters. Ben is a magically talented musician, thanks to an encounter his mother had with a elf woman when Ben was small. Now Ben plays no music at all. And Heather spends time kissing boys instead of killing monsters. Nevertheless, the supernatural beings have plans for the two siblings, plans that will require strong hearts.

Although Ben no longer plays his own music, he continues to drown himself in the music of others. At a coffee house/thrift store/vinyl record emporium, Ben puts on a Nick Drake album. As Hazel describes, Drake’s “…sonorous voice filled the shop, whispering about golden crowns and silence.” The lyrics are actually:

Summer was gone and the heat died down
And Autumn reached for her golden crown
I looked behind as I heard a sigh
But this was the time of no reply

Nick Drake’s song, “Time of No Reply,” was not released during his lifetime. Drake’s first album, Five Leaves Left, was released in 1969, when Drake was just twenty-one years old. Five years later, Drake was dead as a result of an overdose of anti-depressants. Since that time, there have been a number of resurgences of Drake’s music. “Time of No Reply” was part of an album that came to be called Made to Love Magic, released in 1986.

For more insight into the music of Nick Drake, check out this podcast from 99% Invisible, featuring an interview with Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd. http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/three-records-from-sundown/

-Diane Colson, currently reading an advance reader’s copy of Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross



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