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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    A fairy tale with an intriguingly modern twist

    If there is one theme that is sure to generate strong emotions, it is that of bullying. So much is known about it, so familiar a part of childhood it has become, and so little is ever done about it. A bully, with deep feelings of inadequacy mixed with pure and simple malice, can latch onto any physical or psychological characteristic that is slightly different from the norm. Thereafter the victim’s life is made a living hell. The victim’s life is lonely, miserable, and often tragic, even nowadays in what passes for the enlightened society that we live in. Most often, though, the first phase of such misery involves a retreat into a bleak and lonely inner world where there is no future, only never-ending despair. Imagine, then, if help is suddenly at hand in the wake of an extraordinary sequence of events. But that is all I am going to tell you about the story itself, as otherwise I would spoil the surprises and numerous twists and turns in store in this lovely book that will delight young readers---and even adults, too, as I found out for myself. And why am I so anxious not to spoil it for you? Because I, with all the stories I have written, was not able to guess what was coming next. This is how good the book is. Certain elements have to be present in a story like this, and are therefore expected, but the entire narrative tone, here, has a slight edge which keeps the reader on tenterhooks the whole time. Everything is up for grabs. Things may not work out right. Disappointment and disillusionment are always just around the corner, ready to pounce and snuff out the little candle of hope that flickers in Velvet’s heart. Read it and witness a master narrator at work!

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