Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson

Rating : 5.0/5
Number of Pages : 296
Format : Teenage Fiction Novel
Reason for Reading : Book Awards Reading Challenge II

Maia is an orphan whose guardian takes her out of boarding school to go and live with distant relatives the Carter's in Brazil. They live up the Amazon and after reading up on the area (Manaus) Maia is excited to go. She imagines lovely, welcoming family who love and embrace the mixture of cultures, but she finds the reality sadly very different.

The family hate everything that isn't English. Mrs Carter has an obsession with killing bugs, the windows are always closed even in the hottest weather and the twins barely leave the house. They take an instant dislike to Maia and one of them goes so far as to dig her nails into Maa's hand the first time the meet. The family need Maia though for the upkeep money she brings. Maia takes her pleasures spending ime with the governess she journeyed from Englan with Miss Minton (Minty). She has a trunk full of books and devises ways for Maia to leave the house and befriend the Indian servants.

On on e of her journeys Maia meets a local boy and the friendship with him and struggling young actor Clovis change her life forever. This is very much an adventure and an awakening. t was impossible not to put it down once I got into the story. It also really made me want to visit Brazil which I hadn't really thought about before! Fantastical yet very realistic with a perfect ending. It isn't often I give a full 5 star rating.