Tanya Karen Gough
June 3rd 2012
How far will you go to find your way home?
Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.
School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies – basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.
Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.
There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.
“Whene’er you get a wandering leg
And feel that you must roam
Remember this and don’t forget
The best place is at home”
To date, she has moved more than 25 times. Along the way, she earned two degrees in English Literature, taught overseas, became the owner operator of the Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue, and contributed to a number of Shakespeare-related publications. Root Bound is the first of four books in the Emma and the Elementals series.
The goddess studied Emma for a moment.
“So small and unfinished, aren’t you, seedling,” Ceres smiled as she spoke. Then a look of astonishment crossed her face. “But you are not the one we were expecting. Not the Wanderer of the prophecy. No, but yet so full of power you do not yet realize.” She leaned in conspiratorially. Emma stepped forward to hear what she had to say.
“You feel it, don’t you,” Ceres whispered.
“I feel … something … ma’am,” Emma replied tentatively, as the uneasy feeling in her stomach grew stronger. The goddess stared into her eyes for several minutes longer than Emma thought she could bear. Then Ceres smiled broadly, and as she did so, several more wrinkles vanished and a tiger stripe of grey hair turned to lustrous brown–green with a flick of her head.
“The Wanderer is lost,” the goddess said to the brownies, without taking her eyes off Emma. “This child also searches, but does not know what it seeks. Do you know what it is you feel, child?”
Emma did not.