Well me mateys, here be another Curiosity of the Deep for your perusal. For those new to me crew, this be a category for those novels whose stories of acquisition be strange and unusual – like the time someone commandeered me 12 pages! This be the start of another adventure.
the night gardener (Jonathan Auxier)
Ye see mateys, this Captain is always hankering for new places and stories and booty to haul. Now, one day while plotting me next adventure, I came across a tale of splendor by Inge @ the belgian reviewer. She shared the secrets of the Little Free Libraries hidden around the world and even provided a map that marked the treasure!
Now, I had heard rumors of these chests of delight and had occasionally glimpsed some from afar. But here I was with time on me hands and trapped in port. So what better time to go on a treasure hunt? But beware and follow the Code . . .
So with me first mate and me trusty spyglass, we set off into the interior for a look-see. The goal was to visit two likely spots. Now one of the main rules of the Code is that ye can take whatever booty ye like from the chest but have to replace it with an similar offering. Or later return the spoils ye took from that spot. If ye do somethin’ different ye might find yerself visitin’ ole Davy Jones. Finding the X that marks the spot twice can be difficult especially if ye be away sailin’ the high seas. So I tend to bring an offering. I only had two with me that day.
The first found treasure chest was small, tucked away, and rather difficult to find. The journey involved lots of wanderin’ in circles and peerin’ through the brush. But I be determined to check it out. The haul was tiny but fun. Just enough to whet the appetite for more adventure! So from the first chest, I took a super tiny tome about the history women of the air and exchanged me first offering. But I was off to look for more booty!
After two duels with locals, more circle wandering, a stop at a local tavern for some grog, and such, we found our way to the second treasure chest. And oh what glorious baubles awaited! The first mate stood watch while me eyes roamed for the perfect fit and that is when I saw this:
The picture does not do it justice. The cover was literally gleaming in the light and oh so shiny. I picked it up and just knew it was the one for me! I left me second offering with glee and made me way back to me ship. The haul was a success. But oh to explore the new acquisition . . .
It was wonderful. This is a young adult novel that tells a Victorian style ghost story. Two siblings, Molly and Kip, go to work in a sinister mansion and barely get out with their lives. I loved the siblings, the storytelling, the monster, and the morals. I loved the growth of all of the characters in the novel, especially Kip. I loved the horse, Galileo. I thought the ending was particularly fantastic because of how the people worked together. It was mesmerizing. I don’t want to give much more away than that because frankly the beauty is in the writing and the details both of which I cannot explain adequately and want the reader to experience for themselves.
To sum up . . . read this book! I am absolutely thrilled that me adventures brought me to this previously unknown and beautiful gem.
The author’s website has this to say about the novel:
The Night Gardener is a Victorian ghost story about two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
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