While tending to the saint's shrine in the woods near her house one November day, thirteen year old Elizabeth Dyer comes across a Green Girl. Isabella Leland's bones have been at rest in the human world for the past three hundred years, while the rest of her has lived among the Crow People. The world in which she wakes is very different from the one Isabelle once knew. A Protestant queen now resides on the throne and practitioners of Catholicism like Elizabeth and her family have been forced in practicing their faith in shadow, lest they be forced to jailed or worse.
The stakes are raised when Elizabeth's older brother secrets an exiled priest from Oxford into the Dyer home for safekeeping. With Queen Elizabeth's priest-hunting spy (Kit Merrivale) hovering about the estate of Spirit Hill where Elizabeth serves the Lady Catherine Melibourne, returning home to aide her family becomes impossible. Elizabeth has no choice but to ask for help from mysterious Isabelle, who has ventured beyond the forest in search of her new friend. Both girls must reach out to overcome the threats and fears inherent to life as outsiders, if they want to survive this ordeal.
I thoroughly enjoyed OUT OF THE SHADOWS. Sarah Singleton seamlessly mixes folklore, history, and theology without once sacrificing character or plot development. Ms. Singleton gives the perfect amount of detail in all three subjects so we're never overwhelmed by too much information; and while the greater themes of acceptance, worlds of larger possibilities, life as an individual on the fringes of acceptable society, and trust resonate throughout the text, the heart of this novel is a friendship between its two young girls and the loneliness it fills.
Originally posted at TeensReadToo.com