Monday, July 27, 2015

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

Young Wilhelmina Silver has spent her entire childhood on a farm in Zimbabwe...and she loves it. Wilhelmina (known more commonly as Will, Wild Cat, or Cartwheel) adores the farm and all of the people on it, especially her father, her best friend Simon, and the owner of the farm, Captain Brown. She spends her days roaming the countryside befriending monkeys, riding her horse, and playing with Simon.

Despite growing up without a mother, Will has never felt that her life lacked anything. However, disaster strikes, and Will soon finds herself at odds with Captain Brown's new wife, who insists that Will get sent away to boarding school in England so that she may become a "proper" young lady. Despite Will's protests that she is fine where she is, she cannot avoid being sent to England. It is at boarding school that Will immediately discovers how mean and hurtful other girls can be just because someone is different. Desperate to hold on to who she truly is, yet hopelessly lonely at the same time, Will is at a loss for what to do. Will she be able to survive boarding school? Can she possibly make her way back to Zimbabwe? Is she strong enough to make either happen?

This book is by turns pure joy and pure sorrow. The author takes readers on the ride of Will's life, and the readers get to experience all of the emotional highs and lows. This is a beautifully written book that will make you smile, laugh, cry, and cheer. In short, it will make you feel.