Linda Newbery’s new book is a tribute to charity shops everywhere. She is such a ‘green’ person, that it’s hardly surprising to find The Treasure House full of ideas for upcycling. I am now wanting to upcycle my whole life. At least my wardrobe, and far more than I’m used to doing.
In fact, I came away from reading so full of ideas for clothes and behaving greenly, that I almost forgot what The Treasure House is also about. It’s actually almost a little Hollywood-ish. Not that it couldn’t happen, but I did find the behaviour of 11-year-old Nina’s parents rather strange.
On the eve of Nina starting Big School, her mother disappears off with barely any notice. And when Nina finds some of her Mum’s stuff in the charity shop, she gets worried. Her Dad then sets off on a countrywide search, leaving Nina to stay with his aunts Rose and Nell, the owners of the charity shop.
That in itsef is a little odd, I find. People don’t usually own charity shops, but it seems these two older ladies needed something to do, more than owning a financially successful business, so are in effect running some sort of very attractive, private, village ‘Oxfam.’ And that’s where Nina spends a lot of her time, including encountering so many of her Mum’s things. (If this wasn’t a book for young readers, you’d expect her mother to have been bumped off…)
Big School is difficult, but Nina makes one friend, and that’s what leads to this upcycling business. While trying to work out where her Mum could have gone, and why, she and her new friend work on a clothes show and make discoveries about other people in the village.
It’s a fun story, set in lovely surroundings, and quite romantic as well as courageous in several ways.
As for me, I will need to get things down from the attic to begin with.