Of Salt and Shore is a new release from the Dutch author Annet Schaap. I received an advance copy via Netgalley. It was due to be published next week, 15th September, but the launch has been put back to October. I expect this is due to Covid-19. I usually try to tie the reviews in with their releases, but I was a bit short of books read to get another one in now!
Of Salt and Shore
For fans of The Hazel Wood, this middle grade novel takes the dark stuff of fairytales and crafts it into a powerful story of friendship and light.
Every evening Lampie, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, must light a lantern to warn ships away from the rocks, but one stormy night disaster strikes. The lantern is not lit, a ship is wrecked, and someone must pay.
To work off her debt, Lampie is banished to the Admiral’s lonely house, where a monster is rumored to live. The terrors inside the house aren’t quite what she thought they would be–they are even stranger. After Lampie saves the life of the neglected, deformed son of the admiral, a boy she calls Fish, they form a close bond. Soon they are pulled into a fairytale adventure swimming with mermaids, pirates, and misfits. Lampie will discover the courage to fight for friendship, knowledge, and the freedom to be different. [goodreads]
Annet Schaap is a powerful writer. We are tossed and swirled and thoroughly drenched in the opening part of the book. Lampie has to get herself across the causeway and back, all to get a box of matches to light the lighthouse lamp in the coming storm. The storm is also a symbol of the high emotions running inside the lighthouse, between the disabled keeper and his motherless daughter.
Lampie is consigned in the most abrupt fashion to a house on the hill where a monster is rumoured to live. In the normal manner of middle grade books, Lampie finds the secreted boy in the tower, and teaches him to show himself in public. Lampie is a bit too good to be true, as the other characters themselves are melted by her good-heartedness, but somehow this failed to twang my insincerity strings, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Until we got to the fair. I am allergic to fairs in books. Nothing good ever comes of them, and the plot seemed pretty much laid bare.
And actually, once I’d gathered the courage to go back to the book, it was both as predictable as I’d feared, and unpredictable. I enjoyed it, without it becoming all squishy. And everything happened more or less as you’d expect it to turn out, with the most marvellous writing and a delightful twist.OF SALT AND SHORE 'a really good read, from a powerful writer' #OfSaltAndShore #netgalley #middlegrade #childrens #5stars Click To Tweet