'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday, 17 July 2017

Review: Beyond the Bright Sea

Lauren Wolk depicts a lovely tale for middle grade fiction readers in Beyond the Bright Sea, set in a fictional Massachusetts island in 1920s.

Twelve year-old Crow washed ashore on a boat as a baby and has been lovingly raised by the reclusive artist Osh. Miss Maggie, the local schoolteacher also takes on a constant guiding and motherly role in Crow's life.

Crow hasn't questioned her heritage until now. She needs to know where she came from and why she was abandoned.


When Osh presents her with the two things that were found with her, a ruby ring and a faded letter, together with her feather shaped birthmark, Crow embarks on a life-changing journey.

Older and wiser beyond her years, Crow takes a measured and sometimes, befitting her age,  impulsive approach to unravelling the mystery surrounding her abandonment. Little does she realise that it will involve a treasure hunt and immense danger the closer she gets to unravelling the truth. The reader is taken on an unexpected adventure as Crow veers away from the sanctuary of her island home.

Wolk's novel is written in a sombre tone and captures the mood of the island, the weather and the sea which seem to take on characteristic traits in this story. Her depiction of Crow as the lonesome yet not lonely girl, sings of an adventurous spirit and generous soul, a character you can't help but fall in love with.

A novel that beautifully captures the feelings of love, home, belonging and identity within an adopted family.

Title: Beyond the Bright Sea
Author: Lauren Wolk
Publisher: Penguin, $19.99
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780552574303
For ages: 10+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction


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