by Patti Callahan Henry
Well, this was an absolutely wonderful book.
At the beginning of the book our main character, Hazel is working at an antiquarian bookstore unpacking and itemizing rare books (my DREAM JOB)! However, she is soon off to bigger and brighter experiences moving on to a much more elitist job at an auction house in London. But before she leaves this charming little shop, she comes across a storybook that possesses a tale that shakes her to her very core. You see, when she was a young girl she used to tell her little sister Flora the story of “Whisperwood” , an imaginative world where they would be safe and happy and distracted from the war. Hazel and Flora have had to flee their home and parents in London to escape the bombing and it is up to Hazel to protect her little sister while they are away. Tragically, one day Flora disappears, everyone believing she accidentally tumbled into the river and drowned. And now, like a ghost from the past, the story she has told to only her little sister has appeared. Hazel then sets out in search of the author of this book in the hopes to find out information on her sister’s disappearance or maybe, hopefully, finding her sister alive after all these years.
A lovely, lovely, story. Well written, suspenseful, wonderful plot complications and characterization. Definitely one to put on your summer reading list.
Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for the free copy. The Secret Book of Flora Lea is in bookstores now!