Neverland – Margot McGovern (15+)

I received Margot McGovern’s manuscript in the post the day before Margot was due to visit the shop. Being the responsible passionate bookseller that I am, I thought I should at least familiarise myself with her story. Let’s just say that I didn’t get much done in the next 20 hours. When Margot walked in I was at a crucial point, but I had to put it down to chat. Of course I picked it up as soon as Margot left, and promptly finished it.

Neverland starts with Kit being been bought back to her home by her Uncle (Doc). Kit’s home is not ordinary – it is an island where Doc has set up a residential school for teens with mental health issues. Only this time she is a patient not family.

For Kit, the island, that she has always affectionately called Neverland, is a magical place full of the pixies, pirates and mermaids of her Dad’s stories. But as Kit faces up to her past, what will the truth of Neverland actually be? Will Kit accept her memories or will she keep hiding? Will her relationship with Rohan – the new boy at school – help her heal, or damage her further?

Margot weaves a wonderful tale and builds an empathetic protagonist. She has a wonderful way with words that she uses to create magical places and memories. in Neverland Margot asks us how our memories of the past help form our future? She has made me question everything that I thought i knew about my past. How magical to have the ability to do that for your readers.

Neverland will appeal to a broad range of readers, which for me just adds to its appeal. I personally wouldn’t recommend it for younger YA readers. Not because of the mental health issues raised, but because the story hinges on drug use, drinking and sex. The story may open up discussion around mental issues, which for me is never a negative.

Overall a great story that I look forward to putting in the hands of readers.