This is a romantic tale about a young girl's love for a boy named Feather. At the beginning, Maddy comes home to find a teenage boy sitting in her living room. She does not know him, but tells the boy the story of her life and her life with Feather. At the story's end we find the boy is Maddy's unborn child and she is dead. Ages 13+.
Told in gorgeous prose that reads more like poetry, the elderly Matilda relates the story of her life to a young boy she finds in her parlor one day. A sensitive child, she grew up distanced from her parents until her father, as a coming-of-age gift, took her on an extended tour of the world in search of the single most beautiful thing. After returning home, she eventually began an uncertain relationship with an unworldly young man she met on the beach; she appropriately named him Feather. He abandoned his wild ways and moved into a cottage with her, but was never capable of loving Maddy as she did him. She never lost her awareness that his nature was too ephemeral for a long-term love affair, marring her happiness. As readers move through this lush fable they may begin to get a sense of the real identity of the boy in Maddy's parlor. The relative brevity of the story belies the depth it encompasses; it's a richly crafted tale-within-a-tale, worthy of repeated reading. (Fiction. 12 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)
Winner of Children's Book Council of Australia Awards: Book of the Year - Older Readers 2008.
Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book - SE Asia and South Pacific 2008.
Penguin Books Australia
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