Briony herself had not realized she was a witch until her stepmother pointed out all the horrible things she’d done using her powers of evil.
For instance, in her young jealousy Briony had called up a powerful wind that knocked her twin sister, Rose, from her swing. Rose has the mental age of a much younger child, and needs constant care all because of Briony. She remembers now what she did, now that her stepmother has reminded her.
The guilt and self-hatred would have been enough, but on top of that Briony lives in fear that the town’s people will find out she’s a witch and hang her in the village square. As much as she hates herself, she doesn’t want to die.
When Eldric, the university drop out, arrives to stay with them while his father drains the swamps of Swampsea Parsonage, she finds she can’t hate him as she’d expected. As handsome and worldly as he is, he is also sensitive and funny. He becomes an ally in her search for the truth, and struggle to save her sister from the swamp cough brought on by an angry magical swamp dweller.
Chime is a fantasy full of witches, Dark Muses and Old Ones, who live in the swamp and tell stories only Briony can hear. It has the feel of the distant past, except for the appearance of a bright red motorcar, which I thought was more of a distraction than an asset to the tale.
Suggested for grades 8 – 12, Chime has earned a lot of praise from book reviewers for its unique characters, lyrical prose and mysterious storyline. If you like your fantasy with a little mystery, give Chime a whirl.