A Quest For the Most Beautiful Thing

Sonya Hartnett's The Ghost's Child – a mythical story about a young woman's quest for the most beautiful thing in the world.
Sonya Hartnett’s The Ghost’s Child – a mythical story about a young woman’s quest for the most beautiful thing in the world.

The excellent Sonya Hartnett, who won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (the biggest prize in children’s literature) in 2008, is one of my absolute favourite writers. As all good writers she takes her time when writing books, so while I wait for a new one I re-read the ones already published.

This summer I re-read The Ghost’s Child from 2008. The book is about the young girl Maddy from the beginning of the twentieth century, who falls in love with a strange young man, Feather, who lives on the beach. Reluctantly her parents allow Maddy to marry him, and the young couple move into a cottage in the pine forest. But Feather does not seem happy, always gazing at the horizon. When he leaves, Maddy sets out on a long and hard journey to find him and ask him one final question…

A beautiful, rich and intriguing story in the shape of both myth and fairy tale. A story of love, disappointment, loneliness and death. But also of happiness and of finally finding what you have been longing for.

For a long time I thought the title was The Ghost Child instead of The Ghost’s Child. When I suddenly discovered my mistake I saw the text in a new light. Read it! It suits both adolescents and adults. Unfortunately it has not been translated into the Swedish.


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