Just recently I found myself abruptly preparing for a four-hour each way bus ride, and so I reached for my sister in panic. “I need a book!” She responded by chucking me a novel off of our shared bookshelf she herself had much enjoyed in only 6th grade (being only a 16-year old herself). I doubted I would really enjoy a story written for the sixth grade audience, but I checked it out anyway. The read entitled “Once Upon A Marigold” by Jean Ferris struck me immediately with its cover: fun and simple with a blue messenger-bird in one corner opposite a red marigold in the other corner adorned with a bright yellow crown. At the bottom of the page, a playful font reads: “part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink”. What the heck does everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mean? Oh well, I figured I would soon find out. I thanked my sister and headed off with what I summed up to be a quick, and simple story.
Well… I’m here to report that my expectations of this novel were met and well exceeded! The story was indeed very delightful, and speedy at that! The tale that I had completed in only a few days takes place in a magical realm home to trolls, fairies, woodland creatures, crystal caves, unfit princesses, evil Queens, and heroic adventure. It captured my imagination and took my on a journey I was well in need of: to a magical place very different from our own world where life is much simpler, and creativity reigns. It was also worthwhile to find myself taking in life lessons intended for a young person, but applicable to any age such as: the value of filling one’s time with any little type of progress because it is always worthwhile, the importance of seizing every opportunity to do what you want most, or how the outward facade can be extremely deceiving, and in essence very insignificant to life.
The only negative feedback that i have about the story is due, I’m afraid, to that fact that it is in essence a fairy-tale. I found some parts of the ending a bit too outrageously unbelievable that it kind-of took me out of the story itself because I was so taken aback by what was happening. Oh well! It is, after all, made for young readers with endless imaginations.
Otherwise, the story was absolutely enjoyable from beginning to end. The short chapters make for a real page-turner easily, and the sweet humor mixed throughout ensures for a light-hearted feel even in the most dramatic of situations. To escape the drags of everyday life here on earth, pick up “Once Upon A Marigold” for a refreshing change of pace and an inspiring adventure!