'Greenland sharks... seem to be moving so slowly that they can actually slow time down. And some researchers believe that we can find out what causes this, and use it to slow down time for humans, too.'
'Julia And The Shark' by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a truly beautiful book, and one that I'm certain will stay with me for a long time. It tells the story of a ten-year-old girl who travels to the remote Scottish island of Unst with her parents. Her dad is working at the lighthouse, and her mum is researching the elusive Greenland shark.
On her first day at the lighthouse, Julia sees a local boy, who has climbed all the way up to the top balcony unaware of the new inhabitants. Later, he introduces himself as Kin and gives Julia a flavour of life on the island. Their evolving friendship is set against the backdrop of Julia's mum Maura's descent into the depths of obsession and readers are shown its painful impact on all members of the family.
The descriptions of nature are particularly magnificent. Below is one of my favourite extracts:
'Glittering, thrown dust, was scattered across the dark sky, which I now saw was not black at all, but blue, every shade of blue. From the ocean on warm days to the pain Mum used on the bathroom ceiling...'
My four-year-old daughter Julia spotted her name on the cover and was mesmerised by the amazing illustrations of Tom De Freston so I've decided I need to keep this book safe until she's old enough to read it! If you haven't read it yourself, you should.