‘The Goldfish Boy’ was one of my favourite debuts of this year so I was ridiculously excited to get my hands on an early copy of Lisa Thompsons’s new book, ‘The Light Jar.’ Despite my toppling to be read pile I couldn’t resist diving straight into this book and I devoured the whole book in one day because I literally couldn’t put it down. I was totally captivated by the story of Nate and his mother who run away in the middle of the night to hide out in a dilapidated cottage in the middle of nowhere. Nate is lost and confused about why he has been taken away from his home, he has so many questions but his Mum can’t give him the answers he craves. When his Mum heads out to get provisions and doesn’t return his loneliness and confusion is compounded. But salvation comes in the most unlikely of places when he accidentally bumps into a mysterious girl who refuses to let him be alone. This mysterious girl has her own puzzle to solve and together they must try to discover their own happy endings.
It’s so difficult to talk about this book without giving anything away because Lisa has crafted a superb story with so many hidden layers – that are gradually revealed throughout the story – I can’t elaborate too much for fear of spoiling it. But what I can share with you is the raft of emotions I have experienced whilst reading this book. Lisa has tackled an incredibly difficult subject in a completely sensitive way deliberately revealing tiny details throughout the book that when you combine them all together are utterly heart-breaking and desperately sad. However this is just one element of this remarkable story, she has cleverly woven these other mysteries into Nate’s life so that the reader doesn’t feel the full impact of the underlying truth of what has actually happened to him and his Mum. Beautifully written and exceptionally told this is a book that demands to be read and needs to be in every school library.
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me an early copy of this wonderful book, ‘The Light Jar’ is released on January 4th and is available to pre-order online or from any good book shop.