Monday 9 April 2018

Book Review: Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster

Esme's Wish (Esme Series #1) 

Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster

Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publication date: 30th October 2017
Pages: 252
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Gift from author


           “A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” - Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

This fresh, inventive tale is an ideal read for younger teens.

                                              My thoughts                                    

Esme’s Wish is the debut novel and first in a series by Australian author Elizabeth Foster.

Esme’s mother had disappeared seven years ago, thought to have been lost at sea. Her father is now remarrying but Esme doesn’t believe the ‘lost at sea’ claim and while her father is away on his honeymoon she plans to do some investigating of her own.
While searching for clues about her mother’s disappearance Esme finds a doctor’s note about her mother’s headaches, delusions and talk of other worlds. Was her mother ill and nobody told her?

After following an eagle down to the beach Esme notices a lustrous shell in a rock pool but as she reaches for the shell she is pulled into the pool and plummeted down into its depths. When she surfaces she is in another world. She is befriended by Daniel and this is where Esme’s real journey begins.
As Esme tries to uncover what happened to her mother more mysteries are revealed that will have a lasting effect on Esperance and its people.

Foster’s writing is beautifully descriptive and flows effortlessly. Esme has a strong personality thriving in seclusion after being shunned by most of the town folk. She soon becomes firm friends with Daniel and Lillian and learns to trust and rely on others. I liked that the three teens could be friends without a love triangle in sight.

I loved the town of Esperance with its watery canals, gondolas and bridges which reminded me of Venice.
The world of Aeolia is tied to the Gods and frequent mentions of Greek Gods through statues and paintings gives scope for additional research.

The magical element was enchanting; my favourite being Akitsu’s shop with its enchanted paper fish, birds, beetles and butterflies all so delightfully imagined and brought to life on paper.

The story wraps up well, however also leaves on opening for the sequel Esme’s Gift.

Recommended for readers 10+ years
Content: battle with a spectre

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

                                                   About the author

 Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds. Once she started writing, she never looked back. She’s at her happiest when immersed in stories, plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, where she can be found scribbling in caf├ęs, indulging her love of both words and coffee.

this review is part of the Boolover Book Reviews Aussie author challenge 
and Book #7 in the Australian Women Writers Challenge  


  1. Great review, I'll be putting this in the AWW spec fiction round-up next week.

    1. I really enjoyed the story. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.