Monday, April 5, 2010

Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen - Review

Here's another of my colleague's reviews. This is Penelope's pick for the week and I can't wait to pick it up myself.

The quest for 'normality' is ever-present for Elizah Rayne. In a new town with her mother, living in a centuries old house bordering a cemetery Elizah can't be bothered to lead the social life her mother and school counselor hope for. Instead Elizah privately retreats to a nearby river and the memories of her estranged and troubled gambler father.

While out by the river one day, Elizah stumbles on what she thinks is an animal bone. After showing some sketches to her biology teacher, a closer examination and rinse she discovers it is a human jaw bone.

Shortly after, caught between her mother's own struggle to lead a normal life (marathon baking, hosting ghost walks, etc.), a persistent school psychologist's nephew, and random visits from her father - Elizah meets Nathaniel. And for the first time since moving to town, she feels a connection. Through brief encounters on the river and near the cemetery Nathaniel cautiously imparts Elizah with the guidance that could lead her closer to finding out the truth about the jawbone she has felt the duty to protect.

Spollen has written a witty, smart, fearless and at times hilarious young protagonist that is wise beyond her years. I could not put this one down and you won't want to either.

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