There were three sisters, named for Jupiter’s moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Io. As they had blood in their veins, so they had magic, fine and strong as a spider’s web. They lived in a house of white marble, and the tower stretched to the sky and speared the clouds, searching, they said, for the moon. They filled it with miniature worlds, set whole galaxies spinning, caught within glass spheres. And then they hid in their house while the world changed. That was their lot.
(Snowglobe by Amy Wilson.)
There are three sisters with strong magic, named for Jupiter’s moons – Io, Ganymede and Callisto. Callisto vanished ten years ago, leaving behind a young daughter.
Now Clementine is showing signs of the same magic. When she turns it against the school bully, Clementine faces a short suspension from school. This prompts her to go in search of information about the magic and takes her to the house where the three sisters lived.
The house is filled with magic. Clementine discovers a room full of snowglobes like perfect little worlds. Inside one of those snowglobes is Dylan – a boy from school who never joins in the bullying, but never stands up for Clementine either.
Together they journey through the snowglobe words and hunt for answers about Clementine’s connection to the magic.
A lyrical tale of bullying and individuality. Amy Wilson’s debut novel – A Girl Called Owl – was the first book I reviewed as a blogger. I remember being caught up in the snowy world and being impressed at how the fantasy story linked to the character’s development in the real world. This is Amy Wilson’s third novel and it left me with the same chills. I adore her subtle magic. Her characters weave between everyday situations and the fantastical with ease. Magic isn’t an ordinary part of her worlds, but certain individuals are in touch with special powers and secret realms. Magic is both extraordinary and part of the normal world.
There are some strong themes such as bullying and manipulation. The snowglobes, as well as being beautiful, are slightly sinister. They are used to imprison anyone who disagrees with the sisters. This was a perfect metaphor for manipulation. The prisoners are caught in one person’s view of perfection when their magic belongs in the outside world. It made me think of people who have an idea of how others should think and behave. Everyone needs to be free to explore and share their own personalities.
I liked the friendship between Dylan and Clem. Dylan is the kid who nods along with bullying but doesn’t support it. Clem goes to school every day to harassment and teasing. While she needs to learn not to see the worst in every single person, Dylan needs to assert himself and stand up for what he thinks is right. I liked how there was no blame – both Clem and Dylan need to alter their perspective and both have things to learn.
I also loved the house with its room of snowglobes. Amy Wilson has created magical houses before, and they are unique to anything I have ever seen. They have their own magic and their own secrets and they are so well described I feel as if I have walked through their halls.
A beautiful story to read by the fire. Amy Wilson has confirmed her place as a writer of lyrical and poetic stories.
Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books UK for my proof copy of Snowglobe. Opinions my own.