Author = Cassandra Golds
Genre = Growing up, Quest, Romance
interest level = Years 7 and up
This is a beautifully designed book: from the quaint, old fashioned cover to the charming endpapers and filigree design at the beginning of each chapter. The design hints at the quaint, old fashioned story that lies within. Structurally, there are in fact 2 stories – the one that opens the book is about an aptly named mouse (Epiphany) and this part of the story feels like a YR book, with the descriptions of trains (that go chuff, chuff, chuff) and the mouse herself as being softly, velvety brown (reminiscent of a Beatrix Potter story). This quaint beginning allows the reader to accept the second story about a strange, lonely girl (Persimmon) whose best friend is an ornamental cabbage named Rose that talks and reads poetry. There are obvious parallels in the 2 stories: both characters live or work at the railway station, both have wayward fathers who they appear to take after, both go on a quest, both have an interest in flowers. The 2 stories woven together quite cleverly until Epiphany and Persimmon quite literally collide at a climactic point in the book. Hearts are mentioned a lot in this book, particularly the notion of following one’s heart and the importance of self-belief. And amidst the quaintness there is also a delightful streak of humour, sometimes gently whimsical and sometimes more sharply sardonic. A highly original and delightful book with an uplifting ending.
Highly Recommended (dma) *****