This is not a ghost story even though there are plenty of ghosts in it. And it's not a horror story though some people might be horrified. It's not a monster story either, even though there is a monster in it and that monster happens to be me.
Forced to hide herself away from the superstitious island community of Mirasol, thirteen-year-old Rosa seeks solace online. There she meets Ansel95, and as the friendship moves from virtual to real, Rosa discovers that she's not the only one with something to hide..
From the author of the critically-acclaimed Tall Story, comes a haunting, intense and moving novel which weaves myths and ghosts into a modern setting. As Rosa's social life blossoms, how will she seize the freedom to be who she really is?
BOOKTRUST REVIEW The author of the terrific Tall Story does it again with this irresistibly exotic story of family, friendship, ghosts and legends.
Rosa lives on Mirasol, an island where the rain never stops. Muted by the mysterious ‘Calm’ that coursed through her mother’s veins too, she lives a lonely existence with her Doctor Father and busy-body nanny, Yaya. It’s only online that Rosa that can truly find her voice, and when a new chat bubble offers the promise of a friendship that could exist offline too; she must overcome the town’s cruel memories that have forced her to stay hidden. But the past is not as far away as it seems, and as the twisted knots of her family story reveals themselves, it becomes clear the Calm is not the only curse they suffer.
Gourlay’s second novel does not disappoint after the all the high praise her debut so rightly achieved. She is a wonderfully cool writer, seamlessly weaving colourful myths with feisty narrators and current culture. Voices are crystal clear and characters leap from the page fully formed from their first appearence. The dark nature of the family secret is thrilling and dangerous, while the magic stories of the unusual illness keeps the story fresh and full of wonder. The alternating narratives of Rosa and her mothers’ story works beautifully as the layers of this multi-faceted story build up to the shocking climax. Never weighed down by the issues it deals with, Shine is a sparkling jewel of a story.