When she unearths the bones of a young child, Beverly Vernon's life is transformed in ways she never expected.
Nancy Springer is the acclaimed author of more than 50 novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magic realism, horror, thriller and mystery. She has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has won many awards including two Edgars and nominations for the Nebula, Hugo, Agatha and Lambda awards.
At the start of this sprightly tale of longing and renewal from
Edgar-winner Springer (Dark Lie), Beverly Vernon, a children's
books illustrator who has recently settled in a small Florida
Panhandle town following her husband's death, receives bad news
from her literary agent in New York-her most recent book is
unsalable. Depressed, she realizes that most of her contemporaries
are filling their days by doting on grandchildren, something her
two adult daughters are unlikely to provide. In this state of mind,
she makes a start on a portrait of the ideal granddaughter:
violet-eyed, golden-haired, and dressed for a party. That evening,
while digging up some bricks in the backyard, she uncovers the
skeleton of a small child. The following morning, Beverly notices
that the portrait has been altered: the girl now has a grim
expression. Is she going mad? So begins her quest to identify the
buried child, whom the police believe to have been murdered.
Beverly's wit and humanity keep this highly readable novel grounded
when it blossoms into fully fledged fantasy.
*Publishers Weekly Starred Review*