The river flows.
It began as a trickle deep in the heart of the jungle, in the think, secret heart of the jungle. It surges and swirls, gorging on the breath of a thousand streams. The river, it bells, and it swells, and it flows, and a reed-thin girl on a much pole boat skims silently by (p 1).
Two stories about the power of sisterly love unfold in tandem. In the first, a young girl named Luna will do anything to save her little sister who has contracted the wasting sickness. In the other, Pelagia magics a locket for her twin heart Perdita so that she may call her beloved sister home when she wanders too far.
For Perdita is a vivacious water sprite who explores her homeland eagerly, recklessly, endlessly. As her people build a fairy door to a world where humans do not encroach, Pelagia fears her sister will miss the door’s completion and brief opening and so be left behind.
Meanwhile, Luna is navigating her small boat when her sister’s delightful laughter brings down the wrath of the swamp creature. When Willow swallows the cursed water, everyone in her village knows she has only three weeks and then the wasting sickness will end her. Determined to find a cure, Luna embarks on a journey that will shake up her beliefs.
This slim novel flows as effortlessly as a river, it’s mellifluous prose carrying readers gently forward while hinting at great depth. A pleasure to read, I highly recommend this book. Definitely a contender for my KidLit’s mock Newbery.