A Nearer Moon ( Ages 9+)
By : Melanie Crowder
Publisher : Atheneum Books ( Sept.,2015)
An enchanting lyrical tale of sisterhood! Their devotion tested by separation and illness. Luna and Willow live in a magical land in the tropics; where Seraya trees grow and rustle their leaves to the rhythm of the wind; where Pulai trees around the waters drip their humid tears. A river flows, it bells and it swells, it surges and it swirls all the way to the unwanted dam from where the water droplets creep and had created the swamp. The river dives deep underground probing through tunnels of granite for a place to rise.
Along these lively waters lay a village on stilts where Luna and Willow belong; where they live with their mother and granny Tu. It is believed that the swamp water is cursed by a creature that lives beneath the slick, lying on the water; and a mouthful of it would make anyone sick with a mysterious wasting illness, ending their life in three weeks.
Fearless and adventurous Luna is not ready to believe such stories, but to row down the river looking for adventures with her counterpart Benny or her little sister Willow. On such an adventurous tour Luna moves her boat closer to a forbidden area by their mother in the swamp, sound of their laughter echoed through the water to the deepest point, a small creature erupts and throws just a handful of water to cover little Willow`s mouth......
The times before the dam appeared, there lived Perdita and Pelagia, two young and vivid water sprite twins with many other sprites, they danced in the water currents and frolicked in the frothing tips of the waves. Many summers ago all of them but Perdita left through a magical door to a world that the humans had not discovered. The magical door lasted only for a short moment, just long enough for all the sprites to leave the world. Perdita was carefree, playful and adventurous, and just like Luna, she loved her sister, Pelagia dearly. Her playful nature and love for adventure made her miss that special moment of passing through the door, leaving her alone and miserable, parted from her beloved sister..........
The story moves in two-folds, telling us the story of Luna and Perdita, each chapter unfolding the lives of water sprite and of human, their desperate need to be together with their beloved sisters, and their struggle to learn the magical powers lying in their land-those that Luna never believed in; her willingness to explore the dangers powered by her love for her sister.
The mesmerizing beauty of this story left me awestruck! The fantasy world she has created is out of this world but one can visualize it through her amazing descriptions; it will carry us all along their waters with Luna and Perdita. An absolute feast of language! And a must read.