The Unexpected Find

Publisher: Scholastic

Review

This intriguing novel weaves together the stories of three seemingly disparate characters to create a rich tapestry of mystery, myth and adventure.

Judy harbours a great secret. After receiving a mysterious letter, her father rushes to Sweden to help an old friend, leaving her alone on their canal boat. Although he promises to return swiftly, weeks turn into months, and Judy fears that something terrible has happened to him.

William is neglected by his mother and frequently targeted by bullies, so turns to Judy for friendship. Following a momentous storm, he finds a great treasure in the roots of a fallen tree.

Eccentric Mr Balderson, who likes to wear women’s clothing and sleeps in a coffin, is a quiet observer of those around him.

Following a series of serendipitous events, these unlikely companions find themselves travelling to Sweden in a battered old campervan. When their vehicle skids off the icy road into a ditch, they are taken in by Farmor and her resourceful grandson Stefan.

Extremely unusual and beautifully written, this is a compelling read. Sweden’s stunning frozen landscape is vividly described and the deep relationships which develop between the characters are incredibly moving.

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