In the tradition of High Fidelity and Empire Records, this is the literary soundtrack to Skylark Martin’s strange, mysterious, and extraordinary summer.
This is the story of a wild girl and a ghost girl; a boy who knew nothing and a boy who thought he knew everything.
It’s a story about Skylark Martin, who lives with her father and brother in a vintage record shop and is trying to find her place in the world. It’s about ten-year-old Super Agent Gully and his case of a lifetime. And about beautiful, reckless, sharp-as-knives Nancy. It’s about tragi-hot Luke, and just-plain-tragic Mia Casey. It’s about the dark underbelly of a curious Australian neighborhood. It’s about summer, and weirdness, and mystery, and music.
And it’s about life and death and grief and romance. All the good stuff.
Like a cross between High Fidelity and The Killing, Australian novelist Howell's (Everything Beautiful) story alternates between cheeky and dark. After Skylark Martin's mother abandoned the family in Australia to go "follow her art" in Japan, Skylark's father was left to run the Wishing Well, the family's vintage record shop. Around the same time, Sky's father was drinking again, and Gully, her socially challenged younger brother, started wearing a pig-snout mask while masquerading as a sort of male Harriet the Spy. Now that Sky is about to turn 16, life is getting more thrilling. Thanks to her budding friendship with Nancy, the older girl Sky's father hired to help keep the shop and kids in order, Sky now knows more about boys and taking risks. There's also Luke, a scruffy new employee, to keep track of and maybe kiss. However, an unsettling plot development involving a local rock star, secret drug parties, prostitution, and the truth about Luke's sister's death happens too late in the game to have the impact it might. Ages 14 up.