This book is the prequel to Wein’s first book, Code Name Verity. Instead of the middle of WWII, we see Julie Beaufort-Stuart turning sixteen in the late 30s. She is home for the summer from her Swiss boarding school. Well, not exactly home at first. She arrived three days early and went first to her favorite place on the River Fearn; it runs past her grandfather’s house before entering the River Tay.
The next thing she knew was waking up in the hospital where everyone thought she was a Traveler. With that sorted out, her mother arrived to take her home, but not before she met the Traveler boy who rescued her near the river. Someone had hit her on the head and left her for dead.
On Amazon, the book is listed in the Teen & Young Adult categories, but this is not a kids book. It is a coming of age story and the mystery of the thief does not dominate the story, but it is filled with complex issues that Julie meets head-on, much as Verity does in the war.
This is not a thriller, not spell-binding in the usual sense. It is filled with tension, or perhaps tensions, caused by family, friends, workers, police, too much rain, all combined with selling the family home after the death of the much-loved grandfather died.
This is a story from the heart. It is the story of people in real relationships.