Pureheart by Cassandra Golds
Penguin, 2013. ISBN 9780143204275.
(Age: 11+) Recommended. After Deirdre's grandmother dies, she is left alone in a broken-down block of flats named Corbenic, after the Grail castle of Arthurian legend. One cold, misty night when she is looking out of the window, Deirdre spies a familiar face - Gal, a boy she has not seen for many years. Together, they must uncover the dark secrets of the old building, before it collapses and they are lost forever...
The first word that comes to mind when describing Pureheart is 'dreamlike'. The idea of dreams and reality intertwining is a major part of the novel. There is also a general 'dreamy' atmosphere, influenced heavily by the author's flowing, thoughtful, at times bewildering writing style. Although the beginning of this novel is quite firmly rooted in reality, the story quickly progresses into something more. Before long, this reality abruptly combines with the fantastical, throwing the reader into a magical, enchanting world. Not too much will be written here about the way this story turns, as much of the enjoyment arises from its unexpectedness.
The characters are also fascinating and memorable, and they add just as much to the surreal atmosphere of the novel as the writing style.
It is hard to explain exactly how or why this novel is so good, but one thing is for sure: by opening the pages of this well-written, dreamlike novel, readers can expect to step into an enchanting, beautiful world.
I recommend this book.
Rebecca Adams (student)