Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
By Karen Foxlee
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Published: January 28, 2014
With Christmas just behind us and 2014 on our door steps, this is the perfect time to talk about a fantasy children’s Christmas story, right? I totally agree! I received this ARC through NetGalley from Random House in exchange for an honest review. Before I go too much into this book, I want to point out that while this story is a Christmas story, it is only set around Christmas and does not draw upon Christmas themes or imagery. This makes it refreshing in a time where people can be over-saturated with Christmas imagery and motifs and a perfect book to read to children to escape that, or even for households who do not celebrate the Christmas holiday. Plus it is another Australian author!!
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.
A story within a story, this is a modern day fairy tale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Despite this being for children, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! Why could not someone read this book to me when I was a child?! I loved Ophelia. I found her to be adorable, believable and realistic for someone her age (in actions and thoughts), relatable, and empowering. I felt like the monsters would be terrifying for both Ophelia and The Boy to confront but also children hearing the story to imagine and confront in their own minds.
Without going into too much detail about the ending of the book, it seemed very reminiscent to how The Girl Who Leapt through Time ended. In that it was a positive ending but life continues for Ophelia and her family as they pass through the magical encounter and return to normality. I also had a feeling of uncertainty if Ophelia will ever meet The Boy again and I think I would feel a little disappointed if Ophelia never finds out what happens to The Boy or even find out what his name is! Not being told his name at the end felt a little bit frustrating to me, but it was a good choice by Foxlee.
I find this book would be good to read to read over a couple of days around Christmas since the early chapters are longer, slower, containing more details about the world, with the later chapters are shorter (some only 2 pages!) but the pace has stepped up and moving quickly, making it easy to get a couple of chapters read a night.
I want to thank the people over at Random House for giving me the chance to read and review this book. If you want to pick up a copy of this book for yourself, I have added links at the bottom to where you can find it. If I were to pick three words to describe this book, I would pick: Delightful! Charming! Fun!
- Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review (bookreviewsbyme2.wordpress.com)
- Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (wakingbraincells.com)