My mini review of a beautiful and touching children’s book – The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
First let’s start with the cover, isn’t it beautiful.
Ami lives on Culion, an island for people who have leprosy. Her mother is infected. She loves her home – but then islanders untouched by sickness are forced to leave. Ami’s desperate to return before her mother’s death. She finds a strange and fragile hope in a colony of butterflies. Can they lead her home before it’s too late?
My daughter recommended this to me and I’m so glad she did. The book is very different to my expectations of a children’s book. It deals with some very serious issues and has a message that people are just people, despite illness or deformity.
Ami is a really likeable main character and you feel for her as she is taken away from her home and put in an orphanage. You follow her struggle with this new life and her determination to get back to her mother.
You really have a sense of the two islands the story is set on and the writing draws you in from the start. I felt every moment of Ami’s story. Towards the end I had to stop reading for a while as I knew the tragedy that was about to happen. When I came back to the story the next day, I found the scene touching and emotional. The author handled the inevitable situation beautifully.
This is a sad story but it is also one of love, hope and endurance.
I highly recommend this story and rate it 5 stars.