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

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Review: Sea Glass

Cailin doesn’t want to leave Melbourne for the summer holidays, for she has made plans to spend this time with best friend Josie. But her mum has accepted a nursing position for a month in the bayside town where Cailin’s grandpa lives. 

This is an ideal opportunity to boost their failing finances.

Her dad died when she was very young and Cailin’s grandpa is a stranger to her. The eleven-year-old feels resentful at the thought of spending her free time with him while mum is at work 

Arriving with an attitude at the lopsided shack atop the headland, things get worse for Cailin. No Wi Fi, a TV from the 50s that works when it feels like it, and a pokey little bedroom. 

Her grandpa wears worn-out clothes and owns very few material things.

But the view is stunning. The beach is directly in front of the house. Grumpy but ready to accept the situation, Cailin agrees to go beachcombing with the old man.

An amazing relationship begins when grandpa talks about all the treasures the sea gives up and how he has searched and collected Sea Glass all his life. He encourages the child to share his search. Each day becomes a new adventure, as Cailin learns the things that are important in life. Grandpa, spending time with his son’s child, relives memories and shares stories about her father and glassmaking.

She discovers the books on her shelf belonged to her dad. Never a reader, she finds things in common with the father she barely knew.

But there are many obstacles to overcome before things smooth out between the two. It takes a tragedy for Cailin to realise what her father’s father now means to her. 

Every word in every sentence is beautiful. Visual descriptions place the reader directly in the characters’ lives and helps them experience the emotions that are portrayed on the page. Thank you, Rebecca Fraser, for this gift.  

Sea Glass
Author: Rebecca Fraser
Publisher: Wombat Books, $14.99
Publication Date: 1 March 2023
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781761111075
For ages: 7 – 12
Type: Middle Grade Fiction