The book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle
Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406364620
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. A love that lasts for an eternity. A love that started in one world, a world of fairytales, and continued in the world we know. In The book of Pearl, we meet Joshua Pearl. Once, he was Ilian, a prince of the fairytale world until he was banished to our world and separated from his one true love, Olia. In the new world, Ilian is taken in by the Pearls and soon takes on the identity of their dead son Joshua. It is wartime in Europe and it is while he is a prisoner of war that Joshua discovers objects that prove his fairytale world exists. Joshua believes collecting the objects - a mermaid's scale, an archer's bow, a part of his crib and many others - can open a doorway back home. Unbeknown to Joshua, Olia was also banished to our world but she was cursed. She is cursed to only see Joshua but to never be seen by him. Olia becomes his shadow, his guardian angel. Always there helping but never seen.
It is a chance encounter with a 14 year old boy that turns this love story into a story for the whole world to know.
The book of Pearl is beautifully written and translated from French to English. The text is descriptive and emotional and will hook the reader from the start. It will have the reader believing in true love. Several storylines are used to tell the story and it jumps between the past and the present with each chapter. Highly recommended for readers aged 11+ as well as for adults who enjoy a well told story.