Teenager Amy has the world on her shoulders.
Her father has left home, her mother is losing her grip and baby sister Beth needs more than any of them seem able to offer.
And then there is her lovingly belligerent grandmother, struggling in her final days, but still with a story to tell of times long gone, a terrible war, of first love and a magical windmill.
Braving censure and punishment, Amy sets out to trace her grandmother
Age Range: 10+
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Word Count: 30,000
Published: March 2020
RRP: 5.99 (UKP)
She felt closer to Amy than ever before and needed her more in this strange world with so many new faces.
She spoke from the kitchen while Amy studied the photographs. Some were new, colourful, not special. Others were much older, with sepia shades and a mysterious quality. Was it true, as gypsies believed, that photographs stole the souls of the people in the picture? These faces never changed, they would always be as they were in the picture, never aging, never altering in expression. Moment after moment had been frozen, then lifted out of time. The pictures must have dated back a hundred years or more. A whole century was displayed, decade after decade, the faces becoming more and more serious the further back in time the photographs went.
Amy told Gran about the evacuation, the Harrisons, the weekly outing to the windmill and ‘him’. She had the sneaky suspicion that Gran remembered everything and was just testing her. She described the windmill, proud, defiant, independent, strong but still vulnerable, to people as well as to nature. She reminded Gran that something special had happened there and Gran was going to tell her what it was. Beth, made herself comfortable on Amy’s lap and did her best to follow the story.
The pure and beautiful windmill had been wounded. There was graffiti not just on the walls of the mill, but on Amy’s heart. The whole idea of having something precious, personal and private that the world could not touch was gone. Perhaps it was better to be realistic than hold on to silly dreams. The sooner you left dreams behind the better, then you could get on with real life.
Joe Rosenthal is also the author of Growing up in Babylon, a moving and seriou story of Jewish children in care homes after the second world war.
Published by Hawkwood Books.
The cover artist is Ellie Roe, currently somewhere in the southern hemisphere travelling and doing beautiful things.
Click HERE for her site on Etsy. If the link does not work, refresh the page then use the right mouse button with, “Open link in new tab”.