The third book in the Finding Serendipity series finds Tuesday McGillycuddy back in the fictional world of Vivienne Small, but this time Tuesday’s adversary is a jealous character of her mother’s own imagination.
Tuesday and her mother, Sarah (aka Serendipity Smith, the world-famous author of the Vivienne Small series), are struggling with depression, brought on by the death a year earlier of Denis McGillycuddy, husband of Sarah and father of Tuesday. Within the world of Vivienne Small, Serendipity’s depression has both caused an earthquake and continual winter and unleashed Loddon—a character imagined by the child Serendipity. Loddon, jealous of Vivienne, captures her and forces her to summon Serendipity, but it is Tuesday who arrives by mistake. What follows is both an adventure story as Tuesday fights for her life (with Baxterr, the winged dog, and Tuesday’s godmother, Colette Baden-Baden, searching for her) and a story of healing as Serendipity faces fears begotten in a lonely childhood. Writing duo Banks (adult authors Heather Rose and Danielle Wood) weaves these narratives together with admirable skill and compassion, bringing a sophistication to this story of the writing life, including wonderful writing metaphors, such as “Other [staircases] stopped…short…as if you were simply meant to jump.” While the themes of depression and emotional healing may pass over some readers, others will doubtless feel seen and validated. Lewis’ spot illustrations show the human characters as white.
Richly complex and nourishing. (Fantasy. 10-13)