Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 12 and up
Best for Ages: 12 - 18
Description: For as long as she can remember, Marielle has dreamed of seeing England in person. When kind grandparents send her and her cousins there to visit old friends, she can hardly wait to see the places she’s known in fiction and film. The Endicotts are perfect hosts—and their worldly American granddaughter Paris, perfectly beautiful.
But it soon turns out that nothing is as it seems. Her cousins Abby and Reanna, once the best of friends, appear deeply at odds, and the picture-perfect Endicott family is hiding secrets of its own. Distanced by an ocean from home and her family’s protection, Marielle finds herself challenged by a troubling new world. She befriends Paris, but Paris seems opposed to what Marielle stands for. Can Marielle be the witness who helps Paris overcome the lifestyle that’s harming her? Or will Marielle and her cousins be overwhelmed by the conflict this supposed dream trip has brought them?
I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Family Reunion. After all, who wouldn’t want to go on a trip to England? Reading this book was like following the cousins to England and therefore, getting a vacation myself.
I really enjoyed watching Marielle mature in a very realistic way as the book went on through the story. As she reaches out to others and does things that are outside her comfort zone, you see the journey of her heart and faith. Her sweet spirit and devotion to God, even though she makes mistakes, is a good example for young girls everywhere.
While at times the story did get bogged down in details and descriptions, at the same time it forced me to slow down. The slower pace of the book has a calming effect which I enjoyed. I am sure some people will not like the slower pace, but I think others will appreciate the old-fashioned storytelling feel that takes its time and immerses you in that world.
The setting was, of course, wonderful. By the end of the book, I felt as if I had been to England. The author obviously did a vast amount of research into the locations and was able to give interesting facts and small details that made the whole book come alive. Not only do I feel as if I had been to England, I feel I have learned a lot.
The main issue that is tackled in this story is eating disorders and unhealthy obsessions with being thin. While I wish that this was a subject for older reads only, young people today suffer from it at an alarming rate. Bryant handled the topic in an honest and godly manner that I think parents will appreciate, and young people desperately need to hear.
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy slower-paced books, wholesome stories, and endearing characters.