Lately, I’ve been grabbing books everywhere and putting important tasks away while I indulge myself in reading them. I read White Midnight by Dia Calhoun in two days, and I only started on the evening of the first day. At the expense of my eyes, I sat up pretty late to finish the book, and it was pretty satisfying in the YA sort of way.
I didn’t think of it before, but I actually have read another book by Dia Calhoun called Firegold a looooong time ago. That book, and that time, are sort of blurry in my mind. I know people will shake their heads and tsk, but I mostly keep to reading books where the main character is a girl, just ’cause I can relate to them better. Firegold was one of the first novels that I read where the main character was a boy…. I think I read it while I was hopping between books in the Anne of Green Gables and other girly book styles like that. Firegold really left an impression on me, and I think I went to look for more books by the same author but I never got around to reading them.
Enter White Midnight – Dia Calhoun writes in such a way that it seems like the boundaries between dream-nightmare and reality are porous and almost non-existent. Rose, the main character, would have these visions when she was in the dark attic with the Thing, and shapes and shadows she could make out would become caverns and dancing skeletons and ghosts. I looked up Dia Calhoun’s website after reading this book, and she writes about how her imagination was inspired from the uncertain darkness of shadows and play of light and dark on a certain cabinet in her childhood room. I felt a tingle run down my spine at that, because I suddenly remembered a play of dark and darker in the closet in my parent’s bedroom. Here’s the story:
I was a HUGE scaredy-cat when I was little. I was afraid of everything (one could blame this on an overactive imagination). My cousins locked me in the bathroom and switched off the lights (which were outside the bathroom, heaven only knows why), and they would shout that Bloody Mary would come, or the Toilet Monster (whose head would come out of the potty) would attack me with gross things and wrap me in toilet paper until I couldn’t breathe. Actually, I don’t think they explicitly told me this, but I must’ve thought about how he would attack me and come to this conclusion. And there was the story of my basement, with the swinging single bulb, and the daddy long legs (whom I pitied more because they were fragile but I was still scared of them). ALIENS are a WHOLE other story. Anyway, back to the point. There was a lumpy and pointy shadow there and I always thought it was a witch who was sort of hooked onto the peg behind the door in my parent’s room. Or was it the closet, i don’t remember. Here’s where I must’ve gotten creative. The witch would taunt me while I tried to sleep. It would try to bribe me to come over and help her down off of the hook. I was sort stuck, I wanted to help the witch down so that I could go to sleep, but I also didn’t want to move from fear (NO I’m not crazy, I just think too much). One time, I actually dreamed that the witch stole my little brother, and I had to confront her in order to get him back.
So, when I read White Midnight I was thinking that I was so much like the main character. And then I read that other part about Dia Calhoun’s Robber and Night Watchman, and that brought the story so much more closer to home. Anyway, this book was fantastic, and I’m still shivering from being transported back in time to that age where imagination and reality are two parts of the same thing. I do still sometimes think of what the shapes of abstract shadows looming out at me at night could be.
Another thing that I can’t picture is someone without eyelashes. Poor Rose!
Rating: 4.5/5 Monsters in the attic