*this book was sent to me by Odyssey Publishing at no charge to me, however I do not benefit financially from any clicks or future book sales.
This superbly written book centres around Esme Silver, a lonely teenage girl in a seaside town. Her mother has disappeared and is now presumed dead. When we first meet Esme, she is at her father’s wedding. She makes the bold move of objecting to her fathers’ remarriage in front of the congregation. Esme is upset at the thought of her mother being forgotten and her new life being lived like her mum never existed. As the novel progresses, we learn that Esme is a loner with many people mistrusting her due to her mother eccentricities. Esme also learns that her mother was thought to be mentally ill. The more people speak ill of her missing mother, Esme’s gut tells her that there is more to the story.
Hungry for answers she travels to Spindrift, a beachside cabin and the last place her mother was reported to be. As she explores Spindrift, she finds a portal to the world of Aeolia and the city of Esperance. Esme discovers a whole world that her mother inhabited and contributed to. Instead of finding answers she finds more questions about herself as well as her mother.
Foster’s worldbuilding in this novel is second to none. She makes Esperance leap from the page and into the readers minds and hearts. The plot of the story is also expertly woven making the reader hungry for answers in Esme’s plight. Also examined in this story is the journey many teens face when seeing their parents as human beings rather than one dimensional caregiver. Learning that your parents had aims, goals and beliefs that were previously not known or the life they led prior to your arrival, is a formative experience and many times a necessary one.
I truly loved the world of Aeolia and Esperance. I didn’t want to leave this fictional world or the characters that inhabited it. Esme is a tough, observant, yet sensitive character and is extremely relatable for me. I would really love a sequel to this book as I still have some unanswered questions!
A very enjoyable read 5/5. Would highly recommend.