The cover is what attracted me to this book – obviously I have a thing for bold colour, curly lettering and silhouetted profiles. Thankfully I enjoyed this book more than I did Little Bee!
What can I say? Kit Pearson is a naturally gifted children’s author, a factoid you already know if you’ve read her other works (my favourite is Awake and Dreaming!). While The Whole Truth was a little slow to pick up, the story was just as engrossing as any other Pearson novel. It centres around nine-year-old Polly and her older sister Maud. It is the early 1930’s and they are sent from their home in Winnipeg to live with their Grandmother on the fictional Kingfisher Island off the coast of Vancouver Island. All we know about them is that something strange happened to their father – did he die? Did he disappear? – and we don’t find out till about half way through the book, at which point details are slowly revealed.
I found Polly a perfectly believable little girl, under extraordinary circumstances. The themes running through this mystery story centre around family bonding and loyalty. Polly is constantly challenged in her ability to trust those closest to her, and as we watch her grow up (the story ends when she’s nearing thirteen), we get to see the different ways she chooses to cope with it. Simply put, Polly is typical of her age and that is, I think, what makes this a great book for any adolescent girl.
The ending was a little too neat and had some loose ends, but all in all this is another simple and heartwarming story from a master of our generation.