This is an enchanting and heartwarming novel with a dreamlike atmosphere. There is something sparkling and wintry about it, perfect for middle grade readers (or anyone who loves beautiful storytelling) to cosy up with on cold evenings.
Set mainly in a gorgeous opera house in a Danish city, the story follows a girl called Celeste. She wakes up one day as someone else. Yet she has memories of the time before. She has to play a game called the Reckoning in order to get her life back. With the help of her friends and confronting her foes, she might just win. The plot of the book is generally based on relationships and memories. I think the main themes are the celebration of talent, the bonds between family and the power of imagination.
I liked this book very much and was captivated by the settings and characters. The era is not specified (possibly late 19th century), giving the tale a timeless quality. It reminded me of a less spooky Phantom of the Opera. The story idea was seeded when Sally Gardner, working as a costume designer at the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen, visited the dome of the building where the chandelier was hung. She found an old lady living in the dome, whose job it was to polish the chandelier. This is the setting at the start of Invisible in a Bright Light.
Published by Zephyr (an imprint of Head of Zeus) on 17th October. Thank you very much to Zephyr and Sally Gardner for the signed uncorrected proof.
Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist who has sold over 2 million books in the UK and her work has been translated in to more than 22 languages. She has written many books for children of different ages including I, Coriander, Maggot Moon and a series of illustrated fairytales.
Part of the Head of Zeus blog tour: