Saskia’s Journey (2004) A novel by Theresa Breslin

Saskia Granton is intrigued by an invitation to visit her mysterious great-aunt Alessandra up on the Scottish coast. It’s a chance to rediscover her lifelong love of the sea , but Saskia also slowly realizes how little she really knows about her roots. Somehow, she needs to understand the past if she is to find the direction she needs for her future. Just as the sea must eventually give up its bounty, so too her great-aunt must reveal the secrets of the past – the terrible toll of lives claimed by the sea, and the very personal tragedy that left Alessandra herself so isolated. Only then can Saskia break the cycle.

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At 240 pages, this was a short read – and quite enjoyable. Made me open my maps and have a look around Scotland to see where the action was happening.
It’s probably a good read for teens (as Saskia is just leaving her parental nest behind and heading towards the great unknown) and deals with a lot of interesting issues: climate change, new romance, the pull of the parent’s authority, a secret and mysterious past, documenting fisherman experiences in Scotland, a strong eco message when it comes to saving the marine life, a possibly haunted attic, a possible seal flu outbreak, a strange neighbour, tales about mermaids and so on.

I would say the biggest issue with this book is that it’s trying to be too many things at once and does not settle on a specific theme. The characters are sometimes uni-dimensional (with one trait) and while I understand that the book focuses on Saskia and her aunt, it seems slightly damaged as it fails to provide the environment in true colours.
 

“ Packs an emotional punch whilst highlighting the contemporary concerns of fishing communities under threat of economic extinction ”
Guardian

This will go to the donation pile. Maybe somebody else will enjoy it more than me. (Same as Evernight)

About the author

Theresa Breslin is a well-respected author, popular with librarians, teachers and children. She has won the Carnegie Medal for WHISPERS IN THE GRAVEYARD and achieved critical success with her two novels about KEZZIE, set in the Second World War. Her titles include the DREAM MASTER titles for Corgi Yearling and REMEMBRANCE for Doubleday/Corgi. She lives in Lenzie, Scotland.

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