An exceptional tale of mystery, fact and fiction.
I dove into this tale on a Friday evening and was immediately transported to Brighton and Victorian aquariums, tea rooms and seaside quaintness.
Vinnie is at the heart of this story, told in 3 parts to coincide with the 3 hearts of an octopus, which is also at the centre of this story. I loved the sense of awe found in Vinnie as she moves to Brighton, finds new family and friends and extends her own talents in drawing.
Vinnie has grown up in the overly protective company of her mother, the milliner. She assists by drawing new designs in their signature colour, Paris Green. One evening, Vinnie is bundled onto a train in the dark of night headed towards Brighton. Believing this to be an adventure, Vinnie becomes excited though this quickly turns to dismay once the truth is revealed.
Vinnie is staying with Aunt Bets, her mother’s cousin, while her mother travels to Paris to be inspired by the latest fashions. Brighton proves to be just what Vinnie needs, fresh air, good food and new friends. She adapts easily, though she misses her mother terribly.
Ghost, the devil-fish is the latest exhibit at Brighton Aquarium and he is drawing crowds, especially once Vinnie’s drawings and the anonymous articles sharing the events and crowd pleasing antics are published in the local paper.
A mystical bond forms between Vinnie and Ghost as they spend time together and protect each other in uncertain times.
I loved the inter woven plots, the mystery of the millinery supplies, the disappearance of Vinnie’s mum and the accusations being thrown around by Mr Jedders, a former employee. There are also the smaller side mysteries of who is writing the newspaper articles, the strange behaviours of Ghost and the family heirloom worn by Vinnie’s mum.
An absolutely astounding story, one filled with heart and wonder. Once you pick this up, the hours will pass you by!