Ransomwood by Sherryl Jordan has been an absolute pleasure to read.
The author’s very descriptive and emotive writing style immediately swept me up into the beautiful if harsh small town of Grimblebury, a seemingly sad farming community full of mean spirited and spiteful gossips.
I immediately fell for Halfwit Harry, especially after his very funny, very insightful conversation with his mother about being the last man on earth! He may speak rather slowly and not always understand people’s inferences but he is a very likeable and funny character, and by the time Harry finally finds his tongue and gives Gwenifer a well deserved lashing, I was a little in love with him! Halfwit Harry is adorable, and a true friend to anyone if just given the chance.
Initially I was unsure if I was going to like Gwenifer or not, but once I read about her life with her despicable and lecherous Uncle Caleb and his equally hateful family, my heart melted for her.
She really just wants to escape the tormented life she’s been forced to live and mistakenly falls for a cad’s sweet words of love. Openly rude to both Harry and Mother Dorit, it doesn’t take long for Gwenifer’s standoffishness to melt away, showing us her tender, caring side.
Ransomwood really is a well-written and lovingly told tale of sacrifice, friendship, and self discovery. And with a little help and insight from the ‘old witch’ Mother Dorit, who because of her blindness really see’s into a person’s soul – see’s the truth behind lies, Gwenifer and Harry start to see the hidden depths in each other that they both try so hard to keep hidden from the world.
Sherryl Jordan’s story writing is smooth throughout and paints such a clear and real picture whilst reading, that time just slips away. Filled with a diverse and colourful cast of characters, and set in a primitive and unforgiving land, Ransomwood is a brilliant story that readers of books both young and old will fall in love with.
A beautiful and sweetly engaging story, Ransomwood gets a well deserved 5 stars from me.
Reviewed by Cath Cowley who tweets as Book Chatter Cath
by Sherryl Jordan
Published by Scholastic New Zealand