My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I always feel with Linda Newbery that I read her stuff on a slightly different level. She has such grace with her writing, such precise and skilled use of tone and of shadow and of light, that sometimes it can feel like an education in how to write books and how to write books that are somehow more than books.
Nevermore is something quite lovely. Quite mysterious, too. Tizzie and her mother aremoving to Roven Mere. It’s a house full of secrets and everyone is waiting for the owner and his daughter – Lord Rupert and Greta – to come home and live in the house once more.
There’s echoes of Tom’s Midnight Garden, of Lucy M. Boston and of The Secret Garden here, stories within stories and stories that you’re not quite able to see into just yet, until the time is right, and you ache with the longing for that time to be now, now, now.
Newbery makes me greedy. I want more of her work every time I read it: “Shrugged into moodiness, she wore it like a coat, even though part of her wanted to wriggle out of it and stamp it to the floor.” How can you not just taste that image?
There’s so much more of this throughout the book, such vivid little moments that sing: “The pony had stopped grazing to look at them. She made a small, whickering sound, but didn’t move. They made their way towards her, Davy swinging the rope halter. Brown butterflies, disturbed, rose from the long grass.”