Layah and Izzy have grown up immersed in the ancient myths of their father’s homeland, Poland. Their grandmother wrote a book on them, and the girls have always loved listening to them.
It’s summer, and their Mum has taken them to the Lakes to have a holiday. Their dad has stayed behind to work, and because their Mum is preoccupied with something she won’t share with the girls, it leaves them looking after themselves a lot of the time.
When sinister things begin happening, including a yellow-eyed woman appearing in the back garden, Layah and Izzy begin to discover that some myths don’t just belong in the pages of a book, but in the world around them…
I read this book in one sitting; it had me gripped from the first pages as they were full of mystery. There was an element of suspense throughout and the writing really built up the tension, keeping you guessing. Just when you think you have all the answers, there’s another twist!
The relationship between Layah and Izzy was important, as it showed how siblings interact with each other. They needed to work out how best to get along when in a high-pressured scenario, as well as finding their place within the family dynamic. With their parents going through a tough time, it also reflects what some children might be experiencing within their own lives.
Layah herself is a brilliant heroine; she is fearless – albeit a bit too stubborn at times – and loyal. She does not stop until she finds the answer that will help her family, even if that isn’t the outcome she expects it to be. Her interactions with both characters and scenarios throughout the story reflect her strong character.
I am also excited to get this book into my classroom to have some Polish representation, as well as different culture and folklore incorporated into our reading. It is one that children will not only enjoy reading, but can take so much from, too. This is one of my favourite debuts I’ve ever read, and it has definitely set a very high bar for the rest of 2022!
If you like the sound of this book, buy it here.
📚 Book gifted by publisher