The Sky Over Rebecca is the debut novel by Matthew Fox. A children’s novel, it’s part fantasy, part grim reality, and completely relevant. The novel is set in Stockholm and follows lonely ten year old Kara’s quest to discover the truth behind a mysterious set of footprints in the snow. Below is my spoiler free review of the novel.
Kara lives in an apartment block in Stockholm with her mother who spends most of her time working. With no friends or siblings, Kara spends a lot of time with her elderly grandfather. At night Kara uses the telescope given to her by her grandfather to search the skies above her and map out the stars. One night he tells her to look for a meteor shower, something which will change Kara’s life forever.
Kara stumbles upon a hidden world, mysterious footprints in the snow, and curious markings on the ice where she skates. The footprints increase in number and Kara knows that somehow she is not alone on the ice. Determined to discover the truth about the footprints, Kara sets out on a mission which leads her to siblings Rebecca and Samuel, outsiders from another time and place entirely who are desperate to remain hidden, but who also long to be free. The siblings are being hunted and Kara brings supplies to her friends whenever she isn’t dodging obstacles in her own life and the three form a close bond having been brought together by a shared sense of grief and loneliness which transcends time, distance, and personal circumstances.
As an outsider in her own society, Kara desperately wishes to help Rebecca and Samuel to escape the horrors they face, but at the same time is filled with sadness at losing her new found friendships. Kara’s mission is to discover how and why their worlds have collided so that she can assist her friends to escape. Along the way she finds a new sense of courage as well as grief, that friendships can blossom in the unlikeliest of places, and that there is more magic in the world than she ever thought possible.
A refreshing and modern spin on the timeslip novel, The Sky Over Rebecca is a captivating, haunting, poignant, and joyous read. It’s also a timely reminder of the damage that can be done when people act on their fears of the other in society.
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