“Dreams are not wants, Mrs Dangercroft,’ she said. ‘They are not objects or comforts. Dreams are the sneaky messengers of your mind. Dreams are the squirming pit of worms you refuse to look at when you’re awake. Dreams show you everything you’re hiding from.”
– Leanne Hall, Iris and the Tiger
Twelve-year-old Iris has been sent to Spain on a mission: to make sure her elderly and unusual aunt, Ursula, leaves her fortune–and her sprawling estate–to Iris’s scheming parents. But from the moment Iris arrives at Bosque de Nubes, she realises something isn’t quite right. There is an odd feeling around the house, where time moves slowly and Iris’s eyes play tricks on her. While outside, in the wild and untamed forest, a mysterious animal moves through the shadows.
Just what is Aunt Ursula hiding? But when Iris discovers a painting named Iris and the Tiger, she sets out to uncover the animal’s real identity–putting her life in terrible danger.
There are many great pleasures in life and one of those is art! Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall is a magical story of friendship, family and imagination. It is a wonderful story full of classic children’s story tropes including a mysterious house, an eclectic collection of characters, magic and a great adventure! Iris and the Tiger is one of my favourite books for 2016 so far!
Twelve-year-old Iris a sensible yet spirited young girl who is sent to Spain by her parents to spy on her elderly great-aunt. It is assumed that Aunt Ursula will be looking for a successor to inherit the property – Bosque de Nubes – and her wealth… however nothing about Aunt Ursula and her grand property are as they seem. Aunt Ursula isn’t as old and frail as Iris’ parents suggested and other weird things keep happening. With her new friend Jordi by her side, Iris sets out on a grand adventure to stop the property developers getting their hands on Bosque de Nubes and to find the elusive and mysterious tiger!
Surrealism began as a literary movement in the late 1910’s-early 1920’s as an expression called automatic writing. The poets of the time were reluctant to align themselves with the visual arts because they felt it lacked the spontaneity of the written word. Surrealism is known for its provocative, complex and surprising imagery and deep symbolism. I absolutely love how Hall has woven the elements of Surrealism through her novel. It is a story that encourages creativity and imagination and finding yourself. Iris uses her investigative skills to find the truth about Bosque de Nubes and its inhabitants and in the process, learns some very valuable things about herself. She learns that truth and self are fluid notions, not always as clearly defined as we would like them to be.
Hall’s enchanted world is an exciting and engaging escape. She has a really easy writing style that weaves many themes together – including friendship, family, art, creativity, legacy, adolescence, magic and imagination – into a story that is escapism at its best. It is a must read for all ages!
AUTHOR: Leanne Hall
PUBLISHER: Text Publishing
PUB DATE: 27 January 2016
Thank you to Text Publishing for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!