Cassie has gone missing.  Following an argument with her friend Fitz (and the narrator of the story), she has vanished.  Cassie has always been regarded as ‘different’ – she is a deep thinker, but people are wary of her.  She has confided in Fitz that she is hearing a humming noise, which she believes is the Earth’s distress call .  Although Fitz is unable to hear or feel the hum, he is as convinced as Cassie.

Cassie’s parents put aside their constant squabbling and are determined to find her.  The police become involved, but Fitz grows increasingly certain of where he thinks Cassie has gone to.  It is a place that stares out to the ocean and is named Wrath – but what is its meaning?

This is a beautiful, unsettling story for older readers that draws on so many contemporary themes and concerns – lockdown, climate change, ‘difference’ for example.  But is a cracking, thoughtful and intriguing story.

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Marcus Sedgwick

(Barrington Stoke) 

Wrath is a thrilling and thought-provoking novella and so timely in its concerns about our connections to Earth, and each other.
Set against the backdrop of an interminable lockdown, Cassie is struggling.  Her wealthy parents run the Green Scotland charity, but don’t have much time for her.  What’s more, Cassie has a reputation for being “a bit different”.  She loves music however and plays in a band with Fitz, who tells the story in the novel.  Cassie confides in Fitz that she can hear the Earth ‘breathing’, which takes the form of a “slow and deep” humming sound.  Cassie is convinced it is the Earth’s way of communicating distress.
The relationship between Cassie and Fitz is evoked with much warmth and honesty.  Fitz likes Cassie, but cannot find the words to tell her.  Following a misunderstanding, Cassie feels Fitz has betrayed her. He is anxious to put things right, but then Cassie just vanishes.  The police get involved, but Fitz follows his own instincts and strives to figure out where she might be.
The meaning of the word ‘wrath’ is pivotal to the story.  Although our understanding is that wrath is a synonym for anger, it in fact is drawn from the Old Norse word “hvarf”, meaning “turning point”.  Cassie contends this is exactly where we are with the future of our planet.  This super novella is infused with mystery and the hum of strange music.  It presents a poignantly original way of thinking about climate change, and how we relate to each other.  It is also a very good story.
Readers will also be intrigued by Marcus Sedgwick’s Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black’, also available in the Bookwagon on-line bookstore.


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