Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Shining World by Kathleen McDonnell

Originally posted Jan 25, 2009

The second book of The Notherland Journeys trilogy
, Kathleen McDonnell has done it again. This time out, little Mi, one of the Nordlings, has learned how to move from one world to another, but now she is missing. Peggy, whose imagination has created Notherland, is once again called back by Molly, who was her doll when she was a little girl, but in Notherland is alive. The search for Mi takes the main characters of the series, Pay-Gee (Peggy), Jackpine, Molly and Gavi, to many different worlds or perhaps one world in different times. The reader meets such luminaries as Sir John Franklin, Arctic explorer; Grania O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of the 16th century; and William Blake, poet and artist of the 18th century.

They also visit the late 18th century, a time of exploitation of children in workhouses and other forced child labour. While the author handles this darker time with a lighter touch as far as details are concerned, I would not recommend this book to pre-teens. This book contains a lot of factual history and the research that went into the it is amazing.

That aside, the book with its journeys is another magical work. Again, there are lessons in the book subtly given. This trilogy has been a joy, and grows along with its heroine, Peggy. Inside the journeys characters experience new things, in particular self-discovery. At different times they separate into different worlds for specific reasons, but the discovery of Mi brings them all together once again to help her return to herself and heal her soul. I highly recommend this series for perhaps 12 up to and including adults who need a little light in their lives.

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