A Painting, A Family, and Newfoundland.
As soon as I opened The Painting by Charis Cotter I was hooked. It was one of those books I just couldn’t put down.
The Painting is the story of Annie and Claire and Newfoundland. Annie has a painting in her room of a lighthouse in Newfoundland. Annie is an artist and she was drawn to this painting the moment she found it in the attic of her Toronto home. When a terrible accident puts Annie’s mother in the hospital she is suddenly so drawn to the painting that she actually falls into it. She is transported to Newfoundland and her world is turned topsy-turvy. She’s not sure what is real and what is a dream. It is through these painting Annie meets a ghost and solves a mystery and brings her family together again.
It’s a beautiful coming of age story. A story any middle grade child can relate to. The conflicts that arise between parent and child as the child is entering the teen years and struggling to determine who they are even when that runs contrary to who the parent thinks they should be. With references at the beginning of the chapters to Lewis Caroll’s Alice books, the story takes us through a type of wonderland experience such as Alice faced, only this time we travel between Toronto and Newfoundland, between past and present. We can feel Claire’s frustration and pain. We can understand Annie’s fear and eagerness to bring this mystery to a conclusion. It’s a beautiful mirror book for all middle graders to see their relationships reflected back and to understand they are not alone in their struggle.
Thanks to Tundra Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.