True Gems: Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Every once in a while, you read a book that is so beautiful, so breathtaking, that you are never quite the same again after reading them. They change you, even if it is in a subtle way. And you welcome that change, that deep impact, and you keep those books as your dearest treasures. True Gems they are, every one.

My most recently found True Gem is the book Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell.


I found this gem quite by accident while shopping in the clearance section at Half Price Books. Usually, when participating in that activity, I am looking for classics, or a volume to complete a series I am collecting, or a speculative fiction novel I’ve been aching to find and read. I don’t often pick up a book I know nothing about and buy it. But this book just called to me. From the moment I laid eyes on the spine, I knew I had to have it. Then the cover art tickled my happy fancy and lured me in further. By the time I read the description (which reminded me of a lovely friend of mine who grew up in Africa) I was hooked.

This book is nothing short of beautiful. Not disappointed in the least, I was actually far deeper impressed and impacted than I ever expected to be. The story of Will, a wild and free girl growing up on a farm in Africa, is pure and genuine. The author does a masterful job at emotion (and believe me, I mean masterful). I laughed, I cried, I screamed in rage (that last bit was internally, I didn’t want to scare the neighbors), I rooted the entire time for Will to triumph over the ghastly circumstances and people in her life. Whether she does or not, I’m leaving you to find out.

This is a five star book that is simple. But that is what makes it so grand.

Have you read a True Gem lately? What about it put it at the five star place for you?

P.S. Will’s journey through London feels akin to Paddington’s journey through the same, and that just makes me happy.



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