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The Edge of In Between
Cover of The Edge of In Between
The Edge of In Between
A spellbinding tale of magical realism and superb, twisty retelling of The Secret Garden, where twelve-year-old Lottie’s colorful world turns suddenly gray when an unexpected accident claims her...
A spellbinding tale of magical realism and superb, twisty retelling of The Secret Garden, where twelve-year-old Lottie’s colorful world turns suddenly gray when an unexpected accident claims her...
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  • A spellbinding tale of magical realism and superb, twisty retelling of The Secret Garden, where twelve-year-old Lottie’s colorful world turns suddenly gray when an unexpected accident claims her parents, and she is uprooted from her home to live with an eccentric uncle she never knew she had—on the border that separates the living and the dead.
    Lottie lives in Vivelle—the heart of a vibrant city where life exists in brilliant technicolor and nearly everyone has magic. And Lottie is no exception; she can paint pictures to life in every shade and hue imaginable. But at the sudden loss of her parents, all the color is stripped from Lottie’s heart and the world around her. Taken in by her reclusive, eccentric uncle, Lottie moves into Forsaken, his vast manor located in the gray wasteland between the Land of the Living and Ever After, the land of the dead.
    The discovery of a locked-up garden, a wise cardinal, a hidden boy, and a family whose world is full of color despite the bleakness around them begins to pull at the threads of what it means to live in such a near-dead place, slowly returning some of the color to Lottie’s private world and giving her hope that life is worth experiencing fully, even while one carries sorrow.
    But as time runs out, Lottie must find a way to thaw both the world and the hearts of her uncle, cousin, and those she has come to know and love in her new home, or all of Forsaken—including Lottie herself—will be absorbed by Ever After long before their time.
    An exquisitely written, richly imagined, stunning portrait of love and loss, magic and hope; a true celebration of the strength we all possess to transcend tragedy—and the gifts that make life worth living.
     
    Praise for The Edge of In Between:
     
    “A lyrical, graceful conjuring of the landscape of grief [that] doesn't just reimagine a children's classic, but does it with great love.”—Jacqueline West, author of The Books of Elsewhere series and Long Lost

    “Brilliant and empowering…a book that belongs in the hands of every middle-grade reader.” —Lindsay Currie, author of What Lives in the Woods
    "Richly layered with emotional truths, The Edge of In Between embraces all the fragile elements of grief and sorrow, hope and love—as well as the strength (so very much like magic) that resides inside us all." —Heather Kassner, author of The Plentiful Darkness

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    After dinner, Lottie took down several jars of paint from the shelf along her wall, which she would start with as her base colors. Then she grabbed a fresh palette. She got to work adding in a little here, a little there, mixing them together until she had replicated the colors of the leaf cyclone from outside the treat shop well enough to start.

    She quickly fell into a rhythm, first building in the background of the sidewalk and the corner of Felicity’s shop and working forward from there. The magic warmed in her chest and worked its way through her, tying her heart to her hands.

    Time slipped by as Lottie worked, as the image on the paper formed and the light outside her window dimmed to dark. She swished a few final strokes, then set the brush down and lifted the painting.

    Lottie’s heart leapt inside her as the painted leaves flickered, then fluttered, then swirled in front of her eyes exactly as they had while she waited for her father. She could even catch a hint of the scent of cider emanating out from the enchanted painting, and could hear the low murmur of the late afternoon streets. And, like all of her art, this painting felt exactly like the moment she’d captured. The flurry of the city, the contentment, the comfort of a delightfully predictable afternoon.

    A final painting for this season’s collection. She set it down to dry and leaned back in her chair. Warmth flowed through her, pulsing in her fingertips from the use of her magic. Soon enough, she’d fall into a contented sleep.

    Lottie pulled herself up and changed into her pajamas before crawling into bed. A few minutes later, her parents stopped by to tuck her in, say their good nights, and give her a kiss on the cheek.

    As soon as they left, Lottie pulled a well-­worn book from the shelf next to her headboard: The Enchanted Garden. It had been hers ever since she was a baby, a gift from her mother, and was a bedtime story favorite. The deep green cover and golden lettering winked in the light from her bedside lamp. She cracked the weary spine open and reveled in the bright illustrations. Then she read, for the hundredth, or maybe even the thousandth, time, the story of a magical garden that grew wild and free, spilling over its stone walls and spreading throughout the whole entire world. A garden that gave magical gifts and healed broken hearts.

    The book started with a riddle, one Lottie didn’t fully understand. The gray words were printed in large angled letters on the center of the first page and were surrounded by an illustration of a desolate gray stone wall. Leafless gray ivy crept across the stone at all angles and nearly hid the wall behind it. It was all very strange for a book with life and color bursting from all the other pictures.

    The riddle read:

    There once was a door that wasn’t a door,

    And a bed that wasn’t a bed.

    Where mossy green carpet shot up from the floor,

    This key with the heart must be ____.

     

    “It’s okay if it takes some time to figure out what things mean,” her mother had said one night when Lottie had asked about it. That had been years ago—­back in the days when they read The Enchanted Garden together as a bedtime story. “Sometimes answers don’t come until you ask the right questions.”

    Lottie had nodded and snuggled into her mother’s shoulder.

    Truth be told, Lottie had thought about the strange riddle very rarely since, caught up in all the other more important bright and beautiful things she had to do.

    Like collecting color. And collect it she did. Lottie...

About the Author-

  • Lorelei Savaryn (loreleisavaryn.com) is an author of creepy, magical stories for children. She holds a BA in creative writing and is a former elementary teacher and instructional coach. When she isn't writing, she spends her time amidst the beautiful chaos of life with her husband and four children outside of Chicago. She is also the author of The Circus of Stolen Dreams. You can follow her on Twitter @LoreleiSavaryn.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 2, 2022
    Savaryn’s (The Circus of Stolen Dreams) detail-rich, fantastical retelling of The Secret Garden traverses the intricate, winding path of grief. Twelve-year-old artist Lottie lives in the Land of the Living’s capital, Vivelle, a magical and vibrant city. She and her parents are some of the lucky few who’ve maintained their magic, existing in technicolor alongside the Living Gray, whose magic and color have faded. Lottie was certain her color would never atrophy, since “it couldn’t be that hard to keep it, if a person wanted it badly enough,” until Lottie becomes a Living Gray herself following her parents’ sudden deaths. She’s taken in by her uncle and her Living Gray cousin Clement, and upon uncovering a mysterious garden on their property, the pair realize it’s possible to get their magic, and their color, back. With vivid prose, Savaryn delicately captures the achingly real toll of loss through the lens of art while expertly navigating faith and grief’s impact on mental health. Readers will relish the lush, eerie atmosphere and Lottie and Clement’s heartwarming friendship. Most characters cue as white; Clement has brown skin. Ages 8–12. Agent: Chloe Seager, Madeleine Milburn Literary.

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