Erin Law and her friends are Damaged Children. At least that is the label given to them by Maureen, the woman who runs the orphanage that they live in. Damaged, Beyond Repair because they have no parents to take care of them. But Erin knows that if they care for each other they can put up with the psychologists, the social workers, the therapists -- at least most of the time. Sometimes there is nothing left but to run away, to run for freedom. And that is what Erin and two friends do, run away one night downriver on a raft. What they find on their journey is stranger than you can imagine, maybe, and you might not think it's true. But Erin will tell you it is all true. And the proof is a girl named Heaven Eyes, who sees through all the darkness in the world to the joy that lies beneath.
Readers spellbound by the intriguing characters and surrealistic flavor of Almond's previous works will be eager to dive into the murky waters of this third novel, set in a riverside orphanage. Erin Law, one of the "damaged" orphan children residing at Whitegates, eloquently recounts her earliest happy memories of her mother and the way the woman's voice and touch have remained with her. One day, Erin sets out on a remarkable adventure-cum-rescue mission, with fellow orphan friends January and Mouse on a homemade raft. ("Some people will tell you that none of these things happened. They'll say they were just a dream that the three of us shared.") Their vessel gets stuck in the mire on the Black Middens, a muddy sinkhole of a place every bit as haunting and surreal as the hideout in Skellig or the abandoned mines of Kit's Wilderness. The children discover two strangers who live alongside the Middens in a dilapidated settlement: Heaven Eyes, a ghostlike girl with webbed hands (so named because "her lovely eyes... saw through all the trouble in the world to the heaven that lies beneath"), and "Grampa," her ancient caretaker. Here the children slowly unravel mysteries about the crumbling town, its muddy banks holding many treasures and the tragic history of Heaven Eyes. Possessing a rare understanding of human frailties, impulses, desires and fears, the author boldly explores the gray area between reality and imagination, and the need to construct one's own legends in order to survive. His tantalizing settings and poetic narrative have a lingering effect, much like a prophetic dream. Ages 9-12.
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I give it a 5 star rating best book iv'e read in a long time
The book was confusing and random, but in the end I realized what it's meaning is and it touched my heart. Simply a good book.