In the book Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson (2006), Silver is a plucky 11-year-old whose parents and sister vanished four years ago. She’s being cared for by a selfish mean woman in the family mansion, Tanglewreck, one of those old English manor houses with a lot of mysteries to it.
Strange disturbances start happening. A wooly mammoth shows up on the banks of the Thames. A school bus full of children vanishes. Time seems to be going backwards and forwards. People are afraid. Something is clearly not right.
When a mysterious alchemist invites Silver and her guardian to his house in London, she finds that he believes she is the person spoken of in a prophecy about a missing clock with power over time itself. He wants her to find the clock–and then hand it over to him. A lot of unexpected plot twists later, I can definitely say the author clearly is having a lot of fun with multiverse theory and quantum physics paradoxes, including Schroedinger’s Cat.
I enjoyed many things about this story, especially the occasionally amusing bad guys and the heroine’s character journey.
However, I don’t recommend that a religious parent let their child read it without also having the parent read it and discuss it. The author imbues objects, like a house and a clock, with powers that sound to me like they belong to divinity. I do wonder where the author thinks the prophecy about the heroine comes from. I guess it’s a random prophecy.
I’ll give it four stars. * * * *