Lynn: The passing of the peerless Terry Pratchett last March saddened the book world deeply. Fans of the Discworld stories felt bereft at the thought of losing both its creator AND its wonderful denizens. Those of us in the youth-books world felt the loss perhaps even more keenly, because so many of us had also had the doubled joy of experiencing his books for young people, too. So the news that Terry Pratchett left us one last Tiffany Aching adventure, The Shepherd’s Crown (2015), had us dancing in the shelves.
I have just finished that charming book and I loved every single syllable, but it nearly undid me. I knew that the circumstances of Pratchett’s passing might affect my reading, but I wasn’t prepared for either the events of the story or the tone of sweet, comforting acceptance. Early in the tale, Granny Weatherwax realizes that Death is coming for her. The chapters dealing with the discovery, her preparations, and the immediate aftermath made me cry until I couldn’t see the words on the pages. Granny Weatherwax humbly tells Death, “I never wanted the world—just a part of it, a small part that I could keep safe.” She leaves that task to Tiffany.
And for Tiffany and all of us still mourning, Pratchett leaves wise words, delivered by Nanny Oog:
” . . . Esme tol’ me to say, if you wants to see Esmerelda Weatherwax, then just you look around. She is here. Us witches don’t mourn for very long. We are satisfied with happy memories—they’re there to be cherished.”
I, for one, will cherish my many happy memories of Terry Pratchett and his marvelous world.