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The turnaway girls
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Delphernia Undersea wants to sing. But everyone on Blightsend knows music belongs to the Masters -- and girls with singing throats are swallowed by the sea. <br> <br> On the strange, stormy island of Blightsend, twelve-year-old Delphernia Undersea has spent her whole life in the cloister of turnaway girls, hidden from sea and sky by a dome of stone and the laws of the island. Outside, the Masters play their music. Inside, the turnaway girls silently make that music into gold. Making shimmer, Mother Nine calls it. But Delphernia can't make shimmer. She would rather sing than stay silent. When a Master who doesn't act like a Master comes to the skydoor, it's a chance for Delphernia to leave the cloister. Outside the stone dome, the sea breathes like a wild beast, the sky watches with stars like eyes, and even the gardens have claws. Outside, secrets fall silent in halls without sound. And outside, Delphernia is caught -- between the island's sinister Custodian and its mysterious Childer-Queen. Between a poem-speaking prince and a girl who feels like freedom. And in a debut that glimmers with hope and beauty, freedom -- to sing, to change, to live -- is precisely what's at stake.
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Chewins' creative and imaginative debut is set in a cloister on the fantastical island of Blightsend, where Delphernia works as a turnaway girl, trained to make gold out of music that the island's Masters play. Turnaway girls are not allowed to sing, but Delphernia secretly does at great risk to her safety. When an opportunity to leave the cloister arises, she takes it and meets others with secrets of their own. Bolstered by new friendships and the courage inside her, Delphernia endeavors to help bring truth and freedom to Blightsend. The writing in this novel is beautiful soft, poetic, and flowing like the sea but the plot is confusing. It stalls at the start and never fully forms, ultimately feeling disjointed. Though geared toward middle-grade readers, children may struggle to stay engaged with a story that is more about the poetry of the writing than the progression of the plot. However, persistent readers who reach the story's end will be rewarded by unveiled secrets and unifying connections between the narrative's events and characters.--Florence Simmons Copyright 2018 Booklist
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