Wow! What a beautifully written book!
It is the near future, and the planet has suffered environmental catastrophe – the land is poisoned, the oceans have risen to flood much of the country and many species have been made extinct. The surviving humans are finding new ways to survive.
Pearl, Clover and their father live out at sea on a floating oyster farm. Their existence is simple, and they enjoy their isolation away from the land that Pearl believes is responsible for her mother’s death.
Then strangers arrive and disturb their peace. A scientist has been sent to study their work on the farm, and accompanying her is her son, Nat. The secrets that he brings with him will unsettle Pearl and Clover’s world more than they could ever imagine.
Penfold has written this novel with a real understanding of the concerns and preoccupations of her young characters, and encourages our empathy for all three, despite their conflicting points of view. She writes beautifully, from each of their three perspectives, and allows us to see the realistic consequences of continued climate change.
I love the fact that the children in this novel seem so much more concerned about their environment than the adults who have lived through both The Decline and The Hungry Years – by contrast, they are often jaded and lacking vision. The children are filled with a fascination of natural science and a thirst for knowledge, and I’m sure that this will appear with climate-conscious younger readers.
‘Between Sea and Sky‘ will be published on 8th July 2021.
Thank you to Netgalley, Nicola Penfold and Little Tiger Group for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.