The Splendid Secrets of 66 Lilly Pilly Lane by Elena Paige
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The blurb: A magical house. A secret past. And an awful decision. Will she claim her destiny… or save her sister?
Twelve-year-old Chia is blind and toils in the mines digging up diamonds for her evil stepmother, Priscilla. Her only thought is to rescue her twin sister Viola from a life at the palace.
Everything changes when a mysterious woman transports Chia to 66 Lilly Pilly Lane, a magical house where wondrous creatures live. To her delight, she’s no longer blind! With an entourage at her side and magic at her fingertips, it’s time to rescue Viola from Priscilla’s clutches and start a new life elsewhere.
The trouble is, her new friends claim Viola is not as innocent and helpless as she seems…
Come on a magical adventure to discover The Splendid Secrets of 66 Lilly Pilly Lane, a middle-grade novel that will entertain and delight even the most reluctant of readers.
My review: This book is a story that I may have missed out on, which would have been a shame because I loved it. The characters are “different” and by that I mean you will read about people interacting with animals, trees, statues and even a house. Yet each character has a distinct personality and has a way of planting themselves in your mind so that you think nothing of a tree offering you breakfast.
The book is a magical, delightful story where the main lesson (in my opinion) is doing what makes you happy — not doing things for other people. At first, I had an issue with the premise as I believe it is important that our children are taught to be helpful and supportive of each other. It took a while for me to understand, and for the main character to understand, that the author was trying to say (again, in my opinion) that sometimes by helping ourselves, we help others. And that while we should always consider others, we must do what is right for us first. Sacrificing yourself is noble, but is it the right option to take.
And then a real-life situation occurred and I found myself saying “we can try to help her, but she needs to want to be helped”, and that’s when I realised what the author was trying to say without saying it.
Young readers will enjoy the adventure of Chia and her best friend, Pip. The story will allow their minds to open to all possibilities, but a few younger readers might find some scenes a little scary. However, the majority will love the opportunity to become lost in Chia’s world.
Recommended. I will check out other books by this author now that she’s on my radar.
I received a review copy of this book, and this is an honest review.