The Double Shadow

Written by Sally Gardner
Review by Barbara Goldie

The cover of this book did not immediately stand out for me; it was not one I would immediately take off the bookshelf. It then took me a few pages to actually get into the plot, but once I did it was very worthwhile. Sally Gardner mixes a realistic WW2 with fantasy memory machines to create an excellent story.

Ezra, a working-class boy, meets Amaryllis, a spoiled rich girl. Their families are exact opposites. Ezra and his strong mother are a poor, content, warm and loving family while Amaryllis and her inventor father are rich, miserable, cold and lonely.

This chilling story is written from multiple points of view. The writing is artistic, beautiful and very descriptive and transports its reader into the novel’s heart. I found it a challenging read, complex and multi-layered, with well-drawn main and secondary characters. Memories, mystery, fantasy, history, science, and family relationships are included in the mix. Although I believe it will appeal to young adults, as an older reader there was also great appeal for me.

There were some loose ends, but these did not really worry me. It was very cleverly written and had a great ending, making the story stay in my head long after the book was finished. A recommended read.