I can't say I've read any books written from the perspective of a child as young as Five and a half. The Night Rainbow by Claire King provides us with the voice of Pea who lives in the south of France with her younger sister Margot, and her mother. Pea is tasked with helping her mother feel happier after having lost her husband and child in the same year and with helping her sister Margot create new games for them to play in their expansive fields.
Pea and Margot are definitely independant, fun loving children who do a great job at carrying this novel with their adventures. Pea's voice of innocence works well not to bring the tone of the story down although there is much to be sad about. The mother is pregnant and highly depressed after being dealt such a hard blow of losing her husband. Pea can't seem to make her happy and she gets the brilliant idea of asking their new found friend Claude to be their new Papa. Did I fail to mention Claude? Well Claude and his dog Merlin befriends the girls by giving them gifts and spending time with them. I know, I know.
Claire King writes spectacularly from a child's point of view using vivid imagery with fantastical qualities only imagination can provide. I actually felt sorry for Pea most of the novel because I felt she was neglected and left to deal with life on her own but she still seemed happy. She's only aware of the danger that a child would encounter such as going to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or having a nightmare. The reader is aware that the mother pretty much checked out which is maddening as well as heartbreaking. Pea doesn't see what we the readers are able to see through experience and that's why her friendship with Claude kept me glued to the pages with angst.
Overall, I really enjoyed this atmospheric novel written by Claire King. There are many reasons this novel could be sad for readers but the light-hearted air of Pea's voice, recounting her summer adventures enables this novel to be pretty enjoyable. I long for the days when I didn't have a care in the world and could see things through a child's eye. I recommend this novel for all who long for those days as well.***