'It was simple for me, the saints were in heaven and guardian angels had extendable wings like batman and my dad had died and had gone to live in the tree in the back yard.' When ten-year-old Simone's father dies, her mother Dawn is left to raise her and her brothers on her own. Grief suffuses the house, seeming to penetrate even the walls. As their mother succumbs to sorrow the children are left floundering with their own unhappiness and loss. But Simone hears her father calling to her from the Poinciana tree outside her window, and climbs the tree to listen. When she persuades her mother to climb up and listen too, the family slowly begins to heal itself.
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(197mm x 129mm x 12mm)
Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Ten-year-old Simone and her three brothers are struggling to help their mother Dawn cope with the devastating and unexpected loss of their father. Grief and love have stopped the family in its tracks and the children are trying to look after their mother, 'choosing clothes for her so that she doesn't leave the house wearing one of their father's jumpers over the slips she wore to bed'. And then Simone hears her father calling to her from the huge poinciana tree in their backyard. 'It was so exciting to discover what I'd always known. If you climbed high enough in the tree in our backyard you came to another world.' Simone shares her secret with her mother who climbs the tree each night to talk and laugh and argue with her dead husband. Simone's brothers don't believe it, the Neighbourhood Watch is disapproving and the Drain Man falls in love with her. When Dawn stops visiting the tree, it begins to spread its roots further and further under the house and into the drains and even through the bedroom window, threatening the stability of both house and family. This is a triumphant debut novel from Judy Pascoe that will touch the hearts of all who read it. An evocative tale, told through the wistful hopes of Simone as she faces the reality of bereavement, it manages to be both funny and sad. The author tackles the themes of love and loyalty, superstition and religious faith with such poetic imagery and yet such simple language that readers will look at these complex and unsolvable mysteries with the fresh simplicity of a child's eye. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Judy Pascoe
Judy Pascoe was born in Australia and lives in Gloucestershire. She is an acrobat with Circus Oz. This is her first novel.