I’ve been enjoying reading Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth. This extract made me think about memory and childhood, two themes I’ve been working with in my own writing.

‘The first thing I remember is when I was taken to Jordan for the first time. I don’t know how old I was – probably just a baby. I was being carried by a big man. It was midnight and stormy with lightning and thunder and pouring rain. He was on a horse and I was wrapped up inside his cloak. Then he was banging on a door with a pistol, and the door opened and it was all warm and light inside, and then he handed me over to someone else and I think he kissed me and got on his horse and rode away. He was probably my father.’ Miriam was very impressed.
In truth, Lyra wasn’t sure about the horse, but she liked it.


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