Friday, December 1, 2023

Happiness Seeker by Jennifer Burkinshaw


Allie goes on a school trip to Grange-Over-Sands with its fast moving tide and quicksands can be a treacherous place. She is there with her classmates and two of their teachers. Some students including Allie are working on plays they are writing.  Others are studying the geography of the area.

There are all the normal issues that teens such as these face; Finn is her best friend but he is also on intimate terms with Allie’s nemesis Courtney.

Allie meets Maren who knows Morecombe Bay well   - he is involved in modern slavery and has to collect cockles illegally.  We have a little romance here.

Allie tries to help by reporting the illegal traders to the authorities but it is too late for Maren; they get wind of what is going on and flee.  

Courtney misunderstands Maren and makes a bad decision about him. She realises her mistake and tries to make amends but this involves her and Finn crossing the sands. And Courtney gets stuck.  There is then a race against time. Allie stays with Courtney whilst Maren and Flinn go in opposite directions to find help. Finn does not make it, despite being a strong swimmer.

Help comes for the two girls; they both survive.  

Maren disappears.

This is a very well written novel which will engage the reader emotionally. Jennifer Burkinshaw also provides maps and photos of the setting.              

Keedie by Elle McNicholl

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