“I have a very cruel imagination. In my darkest, most lonely moments, it likes to torture me by playing out the most frightening things I have ever seen or heard.”Lucy Strange, Our Castle by the Sea
Title: Our Castle by the Sea
Author: Lucy Strange
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery
Pages: 196 (Kindle)
Published: April 30th, 2019
My Rating: ★★★
Read: 9/14/2023 – 9/19/2023
This book was a random result I got from a Google search for cozy historical reads. It fits the bill enough though I would say it’s more tense than cozy.
Aside from storms and sea monster stories, Petra has lived a quiet life by the sea. The start of World War II brings more changes than her vivid imagination could have conjured. Her German mother is detained and at risk of being tried as a traitor, her sister is becoming a stranger, and bombs begin falling. She feels that somehow the story of the Wyrm and the war are connected, but how?
The book is definitely written in a way to capture the minds of younger readers. It was fine in the beginning because I was well aware of the intended audience, however, the climax of the book nearly had me laughing. The plot itself wasn’t the issue rather than the delivery. The speeches read like those of cartoon villains. I couldn’t take anything seriously after that. That being said, my younger self probably would have loved it.
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- The setting! I love lighthouses.
- Petra is a sweet protagonist.
- Allusions to Petra’s struggles with anxiety in a way that would be relatable for a child of the same age.
What I didn’t like:
- I can’t elaborate on my issues with the ending due to spoilers, so I’ll just say again that it was a ridiculous delivery.
- The intertwined sea monster stories were completely unnecessary to the plot.
I’m unclear if this book is part of a series? StoryGraph mentions it’s book two but I don’t see the same thing on Goodreads. I’m guessing it’s a standalone either way.