Life has stopped for 12-year-old Caroline and her father. It changed after her mother went away from their home on Water Island (St. Thomas) without reason or explanation, and it stopped when they finally gave up on ever hearing from her again. Now Caroline tolerates her life as an outcast with dignity and defiance, but the arrival of an extraordinary girl, Kalinda, changes everything for her.
This powerful, unique book could be called a mystery story, for Caroline and Kalinda set out to find out what has happened to Caroline’s mother. However, readers should not expect a straightforward Famous Five trek through clues and red herrings to closure. This is something far more interesting, rare and special, a magical-realist story that seems sometimes more like a dream.
The romance between Caroline and Kalinda grows like a beautiful vine, wandering in and out of the story. There is magic, but in the end, the biggest mystery turns out to be that of the human heart.
Very little is explained, but that is the charm of this wonderfully written book. It will appeal to readers who are not afraid of things (like life) that don’t make sense. It feels like a future classic.