Author: Jane Eagland
Title: Wild Song
Publication: July 1, 2012
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Pages: 73 pp.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
An atmospheric historical romance for teens, from a gifted and acclaimed author. Beautifully packaged with a foiled jacket. Anna is living a lonely life on a small island with only her ageing mathematician father and his helper Max as company. When Rob washes ashore after an accident, Anna's world is turned upside-down. Is Max really devoted to her father? Is Rob the love she's been waiting for? Could she really leave the island? Drawing inspiration from The Tempest, Jane Eagland has woven a rich and moving story of mystery, love and deception.Particularly suitable for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic teens
Thoughts: This is a short story written for teens with dyslexia and reluctant readers. Anna has been sheltered all her life, only surrounded by the housekeeper and her husband, Anna's father and his assistant Max. Never allowed to even learn about the real world, she's receives books from a mystery person, though she thinks it's Max but eager for anything other than the math homework her father keeps giving her, Anna dives into these near adventures between the pages. Then one day, she sees something moving in the water and realizes it's the body of a young boy, an injured survivor from a shipwreck at sea. She convinces her father and Max to let him stay though they anxious for him to go because they fear it will influence Anna to want to leave. Her father agrees only, if she agrees to stay away from the stranger, Rob, until her heals and can be on his way. Anna can't contain her curiosity and secretly meets with him every day. Anna is drawn into him and his story but he has news about her father's work that makes her question the trust she has for those around her. Anna has a big decision ahead that could save her family from the shame it's been buried under for years. Can she do what's needed or will the she cower from the fear instilled by her father paranoia?
This is a good read; Eagland is able to capture the essence of Anna's youth and innocence. It's so easy to relate to this characters need for something else other than the island she loves, she wants to learn more about the world. I liked the subtle beginnings of a romance between Rob and Anna, and wonder whether there will be more for them in the next book. Some readers may not like the abruptness of the ending but as the book is for those with dyslexia, I can understand why it ended this way. Overall, I liked the story...it's not easy to put so much into so few pages and still create an engaging read with substance. Eagland has accomplished this with Anna's story.