Sarah's Stars

Jeanette Winterson. Tanglewreck
Bloomsbury Publishing $14.95  ISBN 978-0-7475-8355-4  415 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 12

The bus should have crashed down into the river, but instead the wind whirled through the punched-in windows and lifted the bus high above the bridge and out towards the obelisk.

A great wave of water swelled up against the stone piers of the bridge, battering the concrete underside with such force that part of the supporting wall was torn away.

As the tidal wave slammed back down on to the water, the river resumed its normal flow. At the same second the bus spun crazily into the line of chariots. On impact, bus, chariots and horsemen vanished, leaving nothing behind but traces of red-gold sun on the surface of the water.

Big Ben struck seven.

Imagine this, you are walking to school; it should only take a few minutes. Suddenly, a car comes speeding down the road, almost too fast for reality. Is it reality? Suddenly it slows down to a crawl, right in front of you. You pause to look at it now standing still, as if frozen in time. Then suddenly, a huge wind shrieks all around you and men in togas come sprinting past you, followed by stone-faced soldiers with old-fashioned rifles in their hands. It is a collision of times, a tornado. There are different cultures and civilizations all around you in the present day when they should all be resting in cold tombs far below the ground, back in their Ages. Suddenly, it is all swept up in a twister, and sharp, icy rain begins to plummet to the ground. Then, itís gone. Disappeared. The car, the soldiers, and the rain. Gone! You have just witnessed a Time Tornado.

This is what life is like on present day Earth. Some days are terrifyingly long while others are insanely short. Time jerks forward at a lightning pace and then it stops completely. Everyone is in danger. You donít know where you might be when the sun goes down; what age, what country, or what civilization. Itís all a tangle of history and future. The whole world is Ďinfectedí except for an old house named Tanglewreck. Thatís where a young girl named Silver lives with her strict aunt, Mrs. Rokabye, who sits around all day eating and watching TV. Meanwhile Silver keeps hearing stories about a mysterious watch called the Timekeeper. Whoever owns it can control time itself and a sinister character named Abel Darkwater is in search of it. Convinced it lies within Tanglewreck, he takes Mrs. Rokabye and Silver to his home in the city. There Silver meets Gabriel and together the two escape the clutches of Abel Darkwater and go in search of the Timekeeper, which Silver believes is in the Sands of Time. Will the two reach it in time?

Reading this book made me think of many things. Time, how much is left, whether or not Iíve done a good job with what Iíve had. The book is very thoughtful and it draws you in as you go along and discover the delightful world of Tanglewreck. The characters are well thought out; they have depth to them. The plot clips along at a steady pace, not too fast, not too slow and boring, with many twists and surprises.

Jeanette Winterson is a splendid author. This is her first novel for young readers and it leaves you wanting more. Overall, I give Tanglewreck five stars.

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