Once upon a time, Rionzi DuCret used to be a respected voice in the small village of Nemeste. Now, at almost a hundred and fifty years old, she is shunned and isolated in a forgotten room of the village inn. Bitter, yet holding on to a distant ray of hope, she’s living a life of regrets until, one day, a young boy walks into her room. They share stories and experiences; feelings and hopes; they bond over Fidoris and over walks in the forest and commiserate over shared disappointments and fears.
Jasmine Fogwell writes in a prose that vacillates between intriguing and amateurish. But, the story that she tells us is one we’ve all heard before and one that we’ll never tire of. It’s a story about friendship and compassion set in a background of a verdant forest and tree-dwelling fantasies. There is an underlying theme running throughout the narrative of the loss of our bond with nature with the faster pace of life and since, I’m a great believer in this bond, I found this book a very fulfilling read.
Jasmine Fogwell captures the bitter, yet hopeful character of the old lady very well. She makes us feel for her and sympathize with her. The character of 10 year old James may not leap off the page in the same vivid manner, but, his naïve innocence can really capture the hearts of young and old readers.
An Unlikely Friendship is only the first of a trilogy. It’s a small book, 100 pages at the most, illustrated with simple designs and written in a simple format. It’s a good book to introduce your tween to cliffhangers; because that’s what this first book ends with.
BOTTOMLINE: An Unlikely Friendship felt like a novella that can be used as the stepping stone between short stories and longer novels for children. The story is adorable and of course, starry-eyed 10 yr olds will always serve to warm our busy hearts. So, I definitely recommend reading this book. It’s an easy read and I have a feeling that it’ll make for a much asked-for bedtime story.