Under Shifting Glass

Nicky Singer. Chronicle, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0921-3
Life’s fragile nature is the underlying theme of Singer’s contemplative novel about Jess, published in the U.K. in 2011 as The Flask. Jess is struggling with the recent death of her beloved great-aunt and the birth of her conjoined twin brothers, who may not survive the operation necessary for their separation. When she finds an 18th-century glass flask in which she sees a pulsating, color-changing substance, she begins to believe that the mysterious substance’s movements and fluctuations are intrinsically bound with the twins’ fate. As the babies’ condition dips and rises over several emotionally tumultuous weeks, Jess considers frightening questions about spirituality and magic, while also facing turbulence in a lifelong friendship, the tensions of an uncomfortable relationship with her grandmother, and the discovery of a secret tragedy in her late great-aunt’s life. Jess’s passion for music is a foundation upon which Singer (Gem X) builds Buddhist precepts, scientific concepts, and even stepparent issues. The story flirts with fantasy, but leaves it to readers to decide if the magic of the flask is real. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4521-2561-9
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-1-4521-2855-9
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