We’ve all known people like Paloma. Was she not in your form at school? She was certainly in mine. OK, perhaps the Paloma in Sarah Moore Fitzgerald’s The Apple Tart of Hope is somewhat ghastlier than average, but you know the type; perfect in every way, except she isn’t and she’s out to ruin your life.
And life was pretty good for Oscar and his best friend Meg. Until Meg had to move to New Zealand, temporarily, and Paloma moved into her house.
Oscar appears to have a special knack for being nice to people, and none more so than to Meg. Whenever he felt someone needed love and attention, he’d bake an apple tart. Yeah I know, not typical for 14-year-old boys, but Oscar’s not typical in the least. That’s why Meg loves him.
Then he disappears and is believed drowned. Suicide. Meg hastens back from the other side of the world, convinced Oscar is not dead. But there was a Day of Prayer for him at church, and Paloma ‘was his best friend,’ and nothing seems right. Meg and Oscar’s younger brother Stevie start searching for him.
This is a wonderful and gripping tale about young love and friendship and how easy it is for things to go wrong. Even when there is apple tart.
I’d wanted to read Sarah’s first novel but ran out of time, so I’m grateful I got to meet Oscar instead. He and I sat up half the night.