Ever since her sister died Pearl has a tradition of making a sister out of snow. But this year, Christmas is looking different. There is a mysterious letter for her father with a chance of great riches – but then she is caught stealing when trying to provide a nice meal for her family. Will she ever stop missing Agnes? And can Christmas possibly be saved?
I picked this book to read after having read and really enjoyed Carroll’s In Darkling Wood and fancying something sweet and easy to read. And it satisfied that perfectly! Reading Carroll’s books is like going back in time to a more innocent age. This story does so perfectly, and because it is Christmas focussed even gets away with being, really, a bit too sweet.
When a heart transplant is suddenly availiable for her younger brother Theo, Alice is packed off to stay with her mysterious grandmother in her house in the middle of the woods. Her grandmother is determined to cut it down – but no one else wants her to; including, Alice’s new friend Flo says, the fairies. But can the fairies possibly be real? And why is it that Flo doesn’t seem to go to school? And will Theo be okay? And what secrets are hidden in the house?
Not until coming to write this did I realise how many plots are packed into this short book! In many ways it’s a Tom’s Midnight Garden story; weaving the past and present, magic and mystery all together to tell a tale. And it does it really well; presenting modernity and the past with subtlety and intrigue.