Cosmo must journey to the past to understand his future in this humorous, heartbreaking, and brilliantly original debut novel.
Cosmo’s granddad used to be the cleverest person he ever knew. That is, until his granddad’s mind began to fail. In a rare moment of clarity, his granddad gives Cosmo a key and pleads with Cosmo to go to the South Gates of Blackbrick Abbey, where his granddad promises an “answer to everything.” In the dead of night, Cosmo does just that.
When Cosmo unlocks the rusty old gates, he is whisked back to Blackbrick of years past, along with his granddad—now just sixteen-years old and sharp as a tack—beautiful Maggie, and the absolutely dreadful Corporamore family. But much more than time travel adventure awaits Cosmo on the old, sprawling estate: he’ll also discover revealing truths about his granddad, his family, and himself.
Abounding with humor and heart, this extraordinary novel is an original, unforgettable story about lost memories, lost times, and lost lives, reclaimed.
With Cosmo s mother off in Australia, he s living with his grandparents, and although that might sound depressing all ticking clocks and hot chocolate and radio quizzes Cosmo is enjoying himself. However, his grandfather s memory is worsening (for one thing, he keeps forgetting that Cosmo s brother is dead), and there s talk of sending him to a nursing home and having Cosmo live with his uncle. Then Cosmo s grandfather hands him the key to Blackbrick Abbey; when Cosmo opens the gate, he meets the abbey s stable boy none other than his grandfather, at age 16. Though Cosmo is thrilled to meet him, the past is more complicated than he expects. Older readers will see some of the plot twists coming, but debut author Fitzgerald adeptly conveys Cosmo s love for his grandfather and his fury at the way arrangements are being made all around him; Cosmo s distinctively Irish speech is another strong point. Watching Cosmo learn what can and can t be fixed makes for a strong story that s less about time travel than about love and memory. Ages 10 14.