The Island at the End of Everything
Publisher: Chicken House
Amihan lives happily on the island of Culion in the Phillipines with her mother, her Nanay, who has leprosy, and in a wider community where some people are "touched" with the disease, and some are not. But one day, cruel Mr Zamora comes to the island and says that Culion is becoming a leper colony and the children who are without the disease must go to a neighbouring island. As Ami does not have leprosy, she must go, even though it breaks her heart to leave everything she's ever known. And though she tries to get back to Culion, will things ever be the same?
Nature is as much a character here as the people, too, with Millwood Hargrave evoking a lush and bountiful home for Ami in which disease is just another element to be balanced and lived with rather than separated from. Poetic, bittersweet and full of heart, this has the feel and quality of an instant classic.