It is always a great lift when you book gets a bit of recognition and I am absolutely delighted that the Book Bag has chosen it as one of their top ten for 2016.
This is what the reviewer says about it. What is so rewarding about this review is how well the reviewer got into the minds of my characters.
Twins Starn and Esper are growing up in a world made dark and silent
by massive volcanic explosions. Ash now covers the planet and every
aspect of life is controlled by the government, policed by the strict,
heavy-handed Sagittars. They long for sunshine, fresh air and the
freedom of a life only vaguely remembered by a few. But a game of dares
leads them to discover an ancient book written by their great-great
aunt, filled with strange writing and a treasure map. This propels them
headlong into a journey across the darkened skies in a hand-built
glider, in search of the gold that will vastly improve their lives. What
they find there is a hidden world; one left behind when the volcanoes
exploded. The revelation of the gold is not at all what they thought it
would be, and is a discovery that could expose the governments' lies and
save a dying planet.
With exceptional crafting and a delicate hand, Mills has created a
portrait of an unnerving future world while environmental calamity has
stripped all light, save from that that exists in the lives of two young
boys. Through their dreams, imagination and daring, the reader is taken
on a marvellous journey. Gripping and compelling, the boys venture from
a world of darkness, regulation enforced by fear and mere survival to
one of light, possibility, growth and freedom. The juxtaposition of the
two is explored and balanced perfectly through use rhythm and cadence in
the text. The use and invention, or rather evolution of language plays
both on myths and legends of old as well as a contemporary understanding
of how words and communication change in ever-changing times.
The characters are tangible and textural and the relations ring
true. Starn and Esper are two sides of the same coin, and must follow
their own wisdom and hearts while working together creating a wonderful
and moving dichotomy. When one twin loses all memory, we see the
struggle of the other to regain a sense of grounding and stability in
this brave new world; something he can only do with the help of the
other, creating a powerful statement about the true nature of
inter-dependency. And while there are environmental and social messages
in the story, these take a back seat to the purpose of the tale; an
imaginative and wondrous adventure in the vein of such classics as
Treasure Island and The Swiss Family Robinson. Never too heavy or dark
and packed with adventure, it is interspersed with humour and child-like
wonder. It is exciting, dramatic and filled with nuance and beauty.
Written with clarity, compassion and purpose, Gold is open enough
to allow the reader to fulling engage; come to his or her own
conclusions; paint his or her own pictures in the realms of imagination.
An amazing story, filled with life, Gold is a story to be treasured.
This book simply sings!
If you want to see the other books chosen in this list, click on the following link:
The summer issue of Crannóg has just been published and another fine publication it is too. As always there is a very strong selection of poetry and prose from Irish and international writers, including Jean Tuomey, Lisa C.Taylor and Enda Coyle-Greene. The wonderful cover image by Dolores Lyne carries its own story as it features the home of self-taught marine biologist Maude Delap who was the first to succeed in breeding jellyfish in her home-made laboratory on Valentia Island in the 1890s. Submissions for the autumn issue will be accepted throughout the month of July. For more information, see www.crannog.com
Here is one of my favourites by Enda Coyle-Greene. Her most recent poetry collection was Map of the Last (Dedalus, 2013)
Here is the link to the July issue of Live Encounters. Some wonderful poetry by Eileen Casey, Mary Melvin Geoghegan, Terry McDonagh and many others. The choice of cover by Mark Ulyseas was an inspired one as my dear sister, who died recently, loved butterflies.
Here it is: my first novel for children 9-12 years old. Published by Little Island, the stunning cover is by Lauren O Neill who has just won the CBI awards for her illustrations of Gulliver. Her artwork is a perfect match for my story of twins, Starn and Esper who live in a world destroyed by volcanic eruptions. Until one day they find a book and the adventures begin. The book will be launched by Alan McMonagle in Dubray Books, Galway on 30 June at 6.30pm.
There will also be a Dublin Grand Little Island Summer-Party-cum-Triple-Launch (of The Best Medicine, Gold and Wherever it is Summer) celebration with Christine Hamill and Tamara on 6th July at 6pm. The venue is The Glasshouse, which is a garden room at the back of
House, a restaurant/bar in a fine Georgian building on Lower Leeson
Street, a few minutes’ walk from St Stephen’s Green. So SAVE THESE DATES.