Saturday, 26 June 2010

Locus Focus - Cherry Valley

Locus Focus is a meme hosted every Saturday by Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar. "We all know of books that make their settings come alive, and this meme is a chance to write about them and share them with others." Visit her blog and link up!

My Locus focus today is Cherry Valley from the book 'The Brothers Lionheart' by Astrid Lindgren.

Cherry Valley is an almost fairytale like place in Nangijala, a land on the other side of the stars where people go after they die. A place were everyone lives in "the campfires and storytelling times". Cherry Valley is a valley full of cherry trees, little cottages and friendly people and there's a big river where you can go catch fish.

Here's a bit from the book about Cherry Valley. (I translated this myself from my Dutch version of the book, so sorry for any weird translation bits):

"First you wake up in the kitchen by the sun shining through the windows and the birds singing joyfully in the trees...

And then you go riding and the grass is covered in dew, it shines and sparkles everywhere, and bumblebees and bees buzz around the cherryblossom, and you bring your horse to a gallop, and you're almost not afraid anymore. You're not afraid it will suddenly end, like all good things do. But they don't in Nangijala. At least not in Cherry Valley.

Doesn't that sound like a wonderful place?
We all know what happens to lovely places like this in fantasy stories, so it's hardly a surprise that some evil overlord has decided he wants to conquer Cherry Valley and enslave the people living there. But because of how Lindgren describes Cherry Valley and because of the beautiful illustrations by Ilon Wikland you can really understand why people are willing to fight and even die to protect Cherry Valley.


Enbrethiliel said...


I've only heard of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking books, but this novel sounds wonderful!

"The campfire and storytelling times" is a perfect description! It does seem like a world I'd like to live in. It's also a world any of us could step into at any time, if we just turned off our laptops and iPods, tramped into the woods for a bit, made a fire and sat around telling stories (and maybe singing songs?). But even if we did that, would we know how to sustain it? Food for thought! I'm sure that most of Cherry Valley's magic comes from its inhabitants, who understand what a good thing they have going.

Sullivan McPig said...

I agree with you on that.
Still it's possible to capture a bit of a world like that from time to time. We do it by taking a big picnic basket and go just outside of the city and have a picnic with a small campfire at the water's edge.

Enbrethiliel said...


Lucky you! I live right in the middle of a huge city and wouldn't be able to do something like that as often as I'd like. =(

And well, Filipinos aren't really the campfire types. =P When people here escape the towns to get close to nature, they usually head for some beach!

Birdie said...

wow! how cool is that?
Astrid Lindgren is the author of the Pippi Longstocking books, right? Do you happen to know whether this book is available in an English translation? It sounds like one that needs to go on my TBR list

Sullivan McPig said...

She is indeed most famous for her Pippi Longstocking books, but this one and 'Ronia, the Robber's Daughter' are my favourites.
I checked amazon and it's also available in English.