|Edge of in between
Author: Savaryn, Lorelei
After the death of her parents, Lottie loses her colorful magic and is sent to the gray wasteland to live with her uncle, but the discovery of a locked-up garden, a wise cardinal, and a hidden boy gives Lottie a second chance at bringing color back into her life.
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Kirkus Reviews (02/01/22)
School Library Journal (03/25/22)
Booklist (+) (03/15/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/25/2022 Gr 3–7—An odd mix of magic and grief therapy that is partially a homage to The Secret Garden, this is a tale of a place where the location's names match their spirit; Vivelle, Forsaken, In Between, and Ever After. In the beginning, Lottie lives in the lively colorful world of Vivelle working her painting magic with vibrant colors, happy and loved. When her parents die in an accident, she loses that magic and is suddenly a Living Gray. She's sent to Forsaken to stay with an uncle who uses his magic to search for his dead wife and perhaps Lottie's parents. As she moves to the In Between, Lottie discovers companions and friends who help her revive a hidden garden and some of her colorful magic (which, of course, helps her cope with her grief). The symbolism is so heavily laid on with the florid prose that no one could possibly miss the message. However, the magical properties of each space are well drawn. Lottie and many of the characters she meets are engaging, with villains appropriately evil. VERDICT There is nothing subtle about the writing or the plot, but if your fans of magical universes and hidden gardens are looking for their next book, this will do.—Carol A. Edwards - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2022 *Starred Review* Savaryn’s novel offers a luminous retelling of The Secret Garden. Lottie lives in Vivelle, a place of color and magic. One night, her world turns upside down when her parents die, and in her intense grief, she becomes one of the Living Gray, people who lose their color and their magic either from age or a severe shock. She accepts an invitation to live at her uncle’s home, Forsaken, which has relocated to the In Between, the place that the souls of the dead cross on their way to the Ever After. Slowly, she begins to work through her sorrow, inspired by the beautiful frozen and hidden garden she finds and works to restore. Savaryn has counterparts for the main characters of The Secret Garden (including the robin) and they fulfill their roles accordingly, but at the same time, they are their own people. The narrative is sensory and textured, from the vat of sorrow that powers the house, allowing it to move through the In Between, to the garden slowly coming to life. Even a simple meal shared with the gardener’s family is a sensory feast. Lottie takes in her experiences and works through her grief thoughtfully and at her own pace, so it rings true and isn’t a “lesson.” This is a book about loss, and Lottie discovers that it is not something one gets over but, rather, is something with which one learns to live. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.