Drift House The First Voyage
by Dale Peck
Really cool unexpected fantasy with a touch of science theory and real thought, everything from theories about time to mermaids and pirates, but none of it seems pedantic or too frothy or frivolous, either.
Set in 2001, not long after the September 11th bombings, the three Oakenfield children, Susan – the eldest, and her younger step brothers Charles and Murray are sent by their parents from New York to their uncle’s place in Canada. Real city kids, used to the congested but busy life in New York City, they are not sure really why they are being sent away, but their parents inssist it’s for their safety. The kids, though Susan had a different biological father, are typical siblings, and have their squabbles and tease each other, more Susan – born in England – and Charles, the next youngest, than Murray, who is only five years old.
Nothing is quite what it seems, aand it’s kind of refreshing that these are no Disneyland mermaids, and even the sea they are “adrift’ on is no ordinary see. It’s also cool that the kids do not automatically come together as the adventure begins, but continue their evolving relationships at what feels like an ordinary pace in extraordinary circumstances.
I highly reccomend this book to anyone age 8 to 800 who enjoys a good story, and doesn’t mind thinking about things a little as they go. It’s not too simple for adults, and it isn’t little with sly pop culture references to keep adults interested, either, it’s fine as is. And I am not even terribly bothered by the “sequel alert” subtitle of “The First Voyage” as this stands on its own, without the annoying “see what happens next” of some book series.