The bestselling author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making brings to life the imaginative world of one of the most revered literary families of all time: the Brontës.
Living in a small Yorkshire parsonage, still grieving the deaths of their mother and two eldest sisters, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne use their games in the playroom at the top of the stairs to help them cope with their harsh reality, especially now that Charlotte and Emily are soon returning to boarding school. But when the siblings head to the station for Charlotte and Emily’s departure, they find a different kind of train waiting for them, one that whisks them away to the magical land of their imaginings. But what are they to do when the world they created expands beyond the rules they set for it, and will they ever be able to find their way back home?
With this story, Catherynne M. Valente has created a unique blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Readers are transported to a land where loyal suitcases turn into hot air balloons to transport their owners, where people are made of all manner of objects, from scraps of lace to writing tablets, and where toy soldiers come to life and fight real battles. But best of all, readers experience all of this whimsy with the young Brontës as their guides, each one’s unique and vibrant personality brought to life by Valente’s exquisite descriptions. This book is a masterful look into the childhood lives of these beloved literary legends, and one that asserts the power of literature and one’s own imagination.