In a timeless coming-of-age tale as charming and haunting as the movie Stand By Me, Andrew Lovett’s Everlasting Lane tells the story of what happens when nine-year-old Peter’s father dies and his mother moves them from the city to a house in the countryside, for what seem to Peter to be mysterious reasons.
He’s soon distracted, though, by the difficulties of being the new, shy kid at school, and he befriends the other two kids who seem to be outcasts: overweight Tommie and too-smart-for-her-own-good Anna-Marie. Together they try to weather the storm of bullying teachers and fellow students, by escaping into explorations of the seemingly bucolic countryside.
There, though, they find other outcasts from society such as cranky Mr. Merridew, who won’t leave his cottage in the woods, and Scarecrow Man, who stands in the fields searching the skies. And meanwhile, Peter is disturbed by the growing awareness that his own mother may be some sort of outcast, too—and that she’s hiding something from him in a locked room in the attic, a room she’s expressly forbidden him from entering.
Written in beautiful prose, Everlasting Lane is a captivating, absorbing, and suspenseful evocation of the spells of childhood: sun-soaked, nostalgic, with the soft focus and warm glow of a Polaroid—but it’s darker than it seems. Will Peter and his mother find the light in that darkness?
A Boston Globe Pick of the Week
An IndieNext Pick for January 2015
“Captures the dreaminess of childhood, and the small details that make it nightmarish as well… An ode to the last days of true child-ness and all their complications, frustrations, urges, and pains.”
“Everlasting Lane is an excellent reminder of how smart and intuitive children can be.”
“An unusual, childlike journey salted with moments of stark truth… draw[s] the reader quietly into the heart of a novel where both light and darkness abide–inside a stunning revelation.”
—Curled Up with a Good Book
“This gentle haunting, evocative tale will appeal to any who want a different approach to the traditional coming-of-age theme.”
—Diane Donovan, California Bookwatch
“If you are looking for a coming-of-age story with some shadowy twists and turns, I recommend Everlasting Lane.”
“Charming and captivating.”
“Beautifully written, and as charming as it is dark, the novel unwraps the endless secrets that elude a child.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Engrossing… Familial melodrama and confusion are resolved and explained as Lovett’s creative tale broadens into an exploratory, discovery-filled journey for three zany outcasts—’a fluttering rabble of butterflies,’ each taking in the world one revelation at a time.”
“Sophisticated and evocative.”
“With nods to such children’s classics as Alice in Wonderland, Lovett’s first novel…contemplates the often very fine line between imagination and reality.”
One of Library Journal’s 25 Key Indie Fiction Books, Fall 2014-Winter 2015
”The writing is nice and elegant, and [Lovett] really does capture that magical thing called childhood memory just right. I loved that it had that ”Secret Garden” element to it.”
–Linda Grana, DIESEL Bookstore