Reviewed by Emily.
Every once in a while I open up a book and everything around me stops. I can't exactly explain it. It's like being caught in mid-air. It's like, all the longing--and all the wonder-- and all the stardust, wrapped up in a single moment -- I'm not making sense, I know.
It happened to me with David Almond's 'Skellig' and with Delia Owen's 'Where the Crawdad's sing.' It has happened to me often when I'm spending time with one of Kate Di Camillio's books. Lauren Wolk does it to me too.
None of these authors write with a particularly similar voice or style, yet they all have the capacity to 'hold me captive' and leave me breathless with marvel and awe
I quite simply love this story, Sweep, by Johnathan Auxier.
It's the story of eleven-year old Nan Sparrow whose kind guardian (Sweep) disappeared five years before, leaving her with only a fragment of charred soot which magically keeps her warm. Now she works as a 'climber' for a cruel and heartless master. When she gets stuck in a chimney, she is almost killed by one of the other chimney sweeps, but is saved by the 'char' in her pocket. She escapes and the char magically grows into a big hearted and mysterious monster who's purpose in life is to protect her. Nan and her monster build a life together in hiding, but her cruel master is intent on finding her and having his revenge.
This is a story about finding wonder in small things. It's a story about sacrifice and love. It's a story about miracles and magic.
It is quite simply beautiful. Beautifully constructed. Beautifully told. And one that should be a requisite read.
My only sadness is that this book was released in 2018 and it is now 2021-- meaning I lived three whole years without it in my life!
From Emily -
The strongest friends of the soul - BOOKS.