Amazon UK £2.80
Amazon US $3.49
Amazon CA n/a
Adventure / YA / coming of age
Set amidst the rural countryside of Northern England, Sally Barlow-Perez’s The Unintended Runaways nestles itself quickly into the hearts of readers. Told from the perspective of its teen heroine, an orphaned gypsy, readers can’t help but be captivated by Lia’s independent free spirit, righteous indignation, and firm sense of justice as she breaks free of the tyranny of an orphanage cook and a seemingly ominous parson to gather the only friends left to her: Samson the shaggy dog, Pegasus the Shire horse, and Artemis the Siamese cat, and make a run for freedom.
Along the way, Lia hooks up with a rag tag crew of runaway brothers, Ro, Tim, and Cal. The group forge a makeshift familial bond like none other in their despair and heartache, weaving strength, courage, and determination to succeed into their quest to deliver Lia home and find for themselves a new life free from their volatile and abusive uncle.
The unlikely band of runaways venture into farms and across counties hiding themselves from the threat of capture to make their way to Teignmouth, a small seaside village and the only place Lia has ever called home. In search of an absent father to fill the sudden void her beloved grandfather’s death caused, Lia unwittingly, and perhaps a bit grudgingly, finds her heart open to a new clan and hope unimagined.
Barlow-Perez rebirths a child’s deep connection to those special pets, a passion for adventure quest, the spirit of togetherness forged by action, the collective tragedy of loss, and the sheer joy at being alive. This author brings to the page an intertwining of the modern female archetype with a very traditional old world England through the use of a younger gypsy heroine whose ethnicity places her outside the bounds of societal norms of that period and cleverly entices the reader into that glorious suspension of disbelief. Or perhaps, the call is to believe.
Tasked with nothing short of rekindling the child and resettling gender roles in the reader, this novel delivers!
© Kathryn Voigt