An excerpt from Greta and Boris

09/09/19 | By Brynneth-Nimue Brown

Greta and Boris book cover

Greta’s best friend is her cat Boris, but she soon realises her bewhiskered buddy has another life in another world. In chapter two of Sian Norris's novel - Greta and Boris - we meet Greta....

The light streamed through the crack in the curtains to illuminate Greta’s room. It was a fairly unusual room, but that was ok, because Greta was a fairly unusual girl. It ran in her family. Her father and mother were both highly eccentric, one worked as a museum curator and the other was a poet and writer. The room reflected the chosen careers of both her parents, as it was full of books, art prints, ornaments and artifacts; all from her father’s abiding interest in ancient art and archaeology and her mother’s interest in literature. But despite the influence of her parents’ tastes on Greta’s room, the feel of it was decidedly hers. The oldfashioned wooden furniture on which her possessions balanced; the wide window seat covered in cushions; the brightly patterned materials hanging from her sloping ceiling; the oversized Chinese dressing gown hanging from her door – it all worked in harmony alongside the piles of clothes, magazines, stereo and small TV of many young girls’ rooms.

There was something very special about Greta’s setting. She felt it to be entirely hers, the place where she always felt at home. Often, Greta felt it was the sole place where she could return to in order to be herself, where she was purely her own person.

Greta was a sweet girl. She had a happy outlook and loved to laugh. But she had a feeling that she never quite fitted in with the real world. She had lots of friends and did well at school – in fact she was one of the brightest students in her class – but something held her apart from the people around her. She often wandered off into her daydreams and fantasy worlds, preferring the life she lived in her head to the one she faced every day. One day she was an explorer, sailing the high seas and adventuring across jungles and deserts. The next she was an investigative journalist, travelling the world in search of the next big story. Other adventures saw her in the role of a dancing and singing film star from the Twenties, who led a mystery double life as a secret agent. In her imagination, every day brought new experiences and new promises. And Greta was sure that one day, these adventures would not just exist in her mind.

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