The Shop at Hooper’s Bend
by Emily Rodda
Don’t you just love the cover of this book? Doesn’t it make you want to open the door of The Shop at Hooper’s Bend and walk on in? And it’s a book by one of Australia’s best story tellers, so it was hardly a risk to buy this book for review.
I love Emily Rodda’s books. I have reviewed the first book in the Rhondo series and read The Golden Door series with reviewer Sam. We clearly love her fantasy series. So I was intrigued when I saw Emily Rodda had authored a book set in the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney, and I could not wait to read it. Like Paul Jennings and his A Different Dog , this different book from Emily Rodda proved she can tell a story set in any land.
Quil is an orphan who lives with her rather busy Aunt. On her way to holiday camp, on the spur of the moment she decided to get off the train at the Hooper’s Bend station. At the shop on the corner she meets Bailey, who has come to get the shop she has been left by her uncle ready for sale, and Pirate the dog who has lost his home. The shop seems to welcome these three and makes a home for them, and really is the fourth central character in this book in a way that would make Isabel Allende proud.
The writing from Emily Rodda, as always, is beautiful. The characterisations are some of her best yet! Not just the central characters, but the people who pop in and out of the story line all have a role to play and are almost Dickensian in a very Australian way. And the plot twists take this book from being a good story about finding family to a great one.
Love, love, love this book! I described this book to my husband as a good old fashion story about people with a touch of mystery, a little touch of magic, some fantasy and a dog. It draws you in slowly and spits you out an emotional wreck at the end (in a happy way). What more could you want in a book? A great bed-time read for 8+, and a good read for 10+ who love a good story.