The Starspun Web

Sinéad O’Hart. Knopf, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-101-93507-1
Set in 1941, the sophomore novel from O’Hart (The Eye of the North) blends alternate realities with history in a sophisticated examination of passion, family, and purpose. Tess de Sousa, 12, is a resident at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings, nestled in a town analogous to Dublin. Her guardians, Miss Ackerbee and Miss Whipstead, encourage her passions for science and experimentation, and she’s surrounded by friends, including her pet tarantula. But then, Mr. Norton F. Cleat arrives and claims to be her only living relative. Before Tess departs to his home, Roedeer Lodge, Miss Ackerbee gives Tess a small device, thought to enable travel between realities. Two things make Tess’s exile to the lodge bearable: her work with the device and her fervent commitment to return home to her family at Miss Ackerbee’s. O’Hart’s ambitious novel becomes somewhat muddled as it zooms through alternate realities and tangled plot threads. But the complex thematic elements, including war, help to anchor this compelling story of love and survival against the odds. Ages 8–12. Agent: Polly Nolan, Greenhouse Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/26/2019
Release date: 11/12/2019
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-1-101-93509-5
Library Binding - 368 pages - 978-1-101-93508-8
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