Jessie Burton‘s The Restless Girls, A Tale of daring, a quest for freedom ($25.99, Raincoast Books, Bloomsbury Kids) was such a wonderful, imaginative book.

It’s the story of the 12 princess born to King Alberto and Queen Laurelia, a “woman of many words and a driver of race cars”. The queen dies before the story begins, but it is her death that causes the king to lock his talented, smart daughters away in a windowless room under the guise of keeping them safe. Eventually the king takes away everything the love – their music, books, plants and so – and only allows them in a walled courtyard for a hour each day. The princesses are prisoners in their own home.

Eventually, the princesses discover a hidden doorway behind their late mother’s portrait and escape every night to a magical word filled with amazing characters, a bit of freedom in their bleak day.

“The Restless Girls is a sparkling whirl of a fairytale – one that doesn’t need a prince to save the day and instead is full of brave, resourceful, clever young women.”

This hard cover book is has colourful illustrations, but Burton does an amazing job of bringing the characters, the Kingdom of Kalia and the magical world to life. The story is a great one – about finding happiness in the bleakest times, of love and loss, family and of using your imagination and wits to succeed in the end. A great read for kids and adults alike.

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.