Tonight I heard the words said to me "Cider with Rosie" and I said, Oh my god! I haven’t heard those words since I was 15 years old. Instantly memories of early adolescence, puberty and all the pangs of hormonally charged changes and passions flooded back to me.
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee is a book about a young boy’s journey into puberty and experimentation – the ‘cider’ with Rosie is his biting into an apple with the young girl, Rosie, under a cart, will all the connotations of what biting into the forbidden fruit of knowledge means to a lad.
It was a book that we studied in English Literature in Form 4 – From the fall of my 14th year into the summer of my 15th. It captured all the angst and anguish, the highs and lows of that tumultous time in our lives when the opposite sex start looking as though they may something interesting to share.
Cider with Rosie, I don’t think that it is taught in many programs of study as a selection for English Literature – a subject we undertook for the GCE O Levels (a program of study which was obsoleted in 1985). And when, today, I met someone at a gathering with whom I was sharing the oddity of my education and they in turn, said, wait, I know, I think I studied the same program, "Cider with Rosie?" And I said yes.
For the other books that I’d studied in school aren’t that uncommon – The Hobbit, The Day of the Triffids, The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe, The lord of the flies – many have read these books without necessarily being in the same program. What are the odds? Extremely rare in a third country – the United States, since neither of us are natives.