The Edge of In Between

Viking. Apr. 2022. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593202098.
Gr 3-7–An odd mix of magic and grief therapy that is partially a homage to The Secret Garden, this is a tale of a place where the location’s names match their spirit; Vivelle, Forsaken, In Between, and Ever After. In the beginning, Lottie lives in the lively colorful world of Vivelle working her painting magic with vibrant colors, happy and loved. When her parents die in an accident, she loses that magic and is suddenly a Living Gray. She’s sent to Forsaken to stay with an uncle who uses his magic to search for his dead wife and perhaps Lottie’s parents. As she moves to the In Between, Lottie discovers companions and friends who help her revive a hidden garden and some of her colorful magic (which, of course, helps her cope with her grief). The symbolism is so heavily laid on with the florid prose that no one could possibly miss the message. However, the magical properties of each space are well drawn. Lottie and many of the characters she meets are engaging, with villains appropriately evil.
VERDICT There is nothing subtle about the writing or the plot, but if your fans of magical universes and hidden gardens are looking for their next book, this will do.

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