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♥Children's Book of the Month: June 2022♥
(suggested) reading age: 11-14+
(suggested) interest age:11+
Genre: #msytery #adventure #environment #fiction
A mystery novel for children set against the backdrop of the Caron marshland in mid-Wales. The story moves swiftly between two worlds, and deals with themes of relationship, love and the change in our attitude towards the environment.
REVIEW BY ELIN WILLIAMS (14 yrs old)
This is an eventful book, which tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl called Caron who goes missing on Cors Caron [marsh] in Ceredigion. She suffers from epilepsy but doesn’t see this as a weakness. On the contrary – it’s something that defines her and makes her special. The marsh is Caron's escape when life isn’t treating her kindly, and she knows every part of the land like the back of her hand. This is what causes her father, Rhys, to worry when Caron does not return home for her supper or answer her phone. Rhys works on the marsh and shares the same passion as his daughter about it. At this point in the story we find out that a body has been discovered on the marshland, which turns out to be a body that has been there for many centuries. As the story progresses, with Caron still missing, we learn about the teenage girl's life through her family and friends, and their efforts to find her. Here, the novel engages with aspects of everyday life that have an impact on everyone – friends, school, lovers, growing up with one parent, the epilepsy and its challenges, as well as the problem of climate change and the need to protect nature and protect Cors Caron.
Meanwhile, Caron is on an adventure. Only clues suggest that she travelled back in time – to the period of the late 19th century when there was an intention to install a railway in the Tregaron area that would involve destroying the marsh. In this strange, parallel world Caron meets Twm, a hardworking and loyal young boy who strongly opposes the developments. This causes tension because the local people depend on the work that comes from building the line for their livelihoods. As Twm and his family offer her accommodation and care for her, Caron realises that it’s their duty to save the marsh and change the course of the future ... but is it all a nightmare? And what part does the body found in the marsh have in all this? I love the book's cover design, and the colourful pictures and images convey the wilderness of the marsh but also Caron's confusion. The author has undoubtedly managed to tell a good, multi-layered story – it’s easy to read, it grabs from the first page, and the dialogue includes the spoken dialect from the Tregaron area which makes the characters very realistic. With the Eisteddfod on it’s way to that area, there’s never been a better time to read this! Elin Williams (14 years old)
A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Books Council of Wales.