The Great Unexpected

Publisher: Andersen Press

In the little town of Blackbird Tree, friends and fellow orphans Naomi and Lizzie are startled when a strange boy, Finn, falls out of a tree.  Meanwhile, far across the ocean in Ireland, an elderly lady plots her final revenge on the man who broke her heart.  Key to both these stories are three locked trunks, a pair of rooks, a crooked bridge and a fairy ring. As a series of curious events unfold, two very different worlds are drawn closer and closer together, until the story reaches its surprising conclusion.

This unusual and enchanting novel is beautifully-written and full of atmosphere.  Dealing with some challenging issues such as pain and loss, it also evokes compassion, love and hope. Creech’s characters are drawn with enormous sensitivity: the contrast between the clear-eyed narrator, Naomi and her more fanciful friend Lizzie, is brilliantly evoked. This is a challenging but highly rewarding novel, which will intrigue young readers and will stay with them long after they have finished reading.

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