Part Benjamin Button, part Harold and Maud, part Brian Selznick and part Neil Gaiman, this is a unique, magical story that will draw readers in and make them fall in love with both characters.
Davy David is a thirteen-year-old orphan, who lives in the bushes in a town ruled by a strict minister, Reverend Fall. A talented artist, Davy loves to draw pictures of angels in the dirt, in the early hours of the morning before the townspeople are awake. He spends his days on his own, except for a small dog, who has attached himself to Davy, often going to the library to find inspiration for his pictures of angels. One day, after chasing after a ball for some of the town’s boys, he finds himself in the yard of the old boarded-up museum, now rumoured to be the home of a witch. The witch is Miss Elizabeth Flint, an elderly woman who has a proposition for Davy: drive her to her childhood home, where, it turns out, she has made the decision to die.
‘The Road to Ever After’ by Moira Young publishes in the UK tomorrow, and I highly recommend that you pick it up. Here are five reasons why!
- THE WRITING STYLE
‘The Road to Ever After’ is beautifully written. It’s captivating from start to finish, and it’s full of moving and memorable sections of narration and of dialogue. It’s very different from Moira Young’s previous novels – the Dustlands trilogy, which is a fast-paced, action-packed YA series with Western and dystopian themes – but it’s equally gripping. I am always in awe of authors like Moira Young who can write equally strong novels in a range of genres.
- THE CHARACTERS
All the characters in the novel are vivid and distinctive, from the mean and corrupt Parson Falls (who reminds me of the mayor in Joanne Harris’ ‘Chocolat’) and the brash van driver Mr Webb, to the kind and generous Mr Timm and the sweet Miss Shasta. I could visualise each of them wholly.
Davy is a fantastic main character. I immediately sympathised with him and felt an attachment to him, which meant that I was very emotionally involved in the story. I loved his friendship with Miss Flint, especially the way she could be quite sharp but she gradually softened towards him. Miss Flint reminded me of Maggie Smith’s character in the recent film, The Lady in the Van.
‘The Road to Ever After’ is classified as a middle-grade novel. However, it has a universal, timeless quality that makes it appeal to a much wider audience. The story has many layers to it. Additionally, one of the main characters is young, while the other is old. It truly is a story for everyone to read and enjoy.
‘The Road to Ever After’ really touched me. The ending brought tears to my eyes because I was so involved and invested in the story and the characters. There is such warmth and poignancy to the story of Davy David and Miss Flint’s unexpected but deep and affectionate friendship. It’s a wonderfully moving novel that will warm your heart as the cold winter days approach.
The novel is set during the winter season and finishes after Christmas day, so it’s the perfect read as days begin to grow colder, nights begin to grow longer, and stores begin to fill with Christmas products. It’s a magical, unique and unforgettable book which truly captures the spirit of Christmas, not least in the scene in which Davy spends the little money he has on gifts for others. It actually made me feel very nostalgic for stories and picture books I remember reading at Christmas when I was much younger. I think ‘The Road to Ever After’ deserves to become a seasonal classic. It has a beautiful cover and is just as beautiful inside.