Monday, 12 October 2020

The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins

The Sisters of Straygarden Place

The grass grew taller than the house itself, surrounding it on all sides. It stuffed the keyholes and scraped against the roof. It shook the walls and made paintings shiver.

Seven years ago, the Ballastian sisters' parents left them in the magical Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. They left behind a warning saying never to leave the house or go into the grass. "Wait for us," the note read. "Sleep darkly." Ever since then, the house itself has taken care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine--feeding them, clothing them, even keeping them company--while the girls have waited and grown up and played a guessing game: Think of an animal, think of a place. Think of a person, think of a face. Until one day, when the eldest, fourteen-year-old Winnow, does the unthinkable and goes outside into the grass, and everything twelve-year-old Mayhap thought she knew about her home, her family, and even herself starts to unravel. With luscious, vivid prose, poet and author Hayley Chewins transports readers to a house where beloved little dogs crawl into their owners' minds to sleep, sick girls turn silver, and anything can be stolen--even laughter and silence. 

I'm not sure I even have words to do this luminous story justice. 

The imagination here makes me gasp. (And can I have a droomhund, please?) This is a wonderful story. I don't want to give too much away, but the twists and turns are fabulous. The story never went the way I thought it would, but looking back, it went the only way it possibly could.

It took me a little bit to get used to the style, so if you're hung up on the first couple of chapters, hang in there. I promise it'll start to make sense.
Although both covers are great and give a wonderful sense of atmosphere, and tell you a little about the plot, I think I prefer the top, green one. It just has a more mysterious vibe, doesn't it? It suits the story wonderfully.

What a wonderful read. I'll be thinking about this one for quite a while.

The Sisters of Straygarden Place publishes on the 13th October, 2020.

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