Ickleton author Rosemary Hayes releases a middle-grade adventure story
Ickleton author Rosemary Hayes releases a middle-grade adventure story with strong and complex characters in a fast moving, tension filled story of love, courage and divided loyalties
“A lone girl’s search for truth in a world of violence and lies. I read Flora’s story with my heart in my mouth.” – Kat Armstrong, author of A Pair of Sharp Eyes.
Thirteen-year-old Flora lives with her guardian, Ramona, on the remote island of Tara where there are no computers, no tablets and no phones. They were all destroyed forty years ago, at the time of a global plague, to keep the islanders safe and cut off from the rest of the world.
Some time ago, Flora’s parents disappeared, and the island rulers refer to them as traitors. At first, Flora was able to continue to visit her grandparents who live in a guarded compound where old people are kept segregated because of their knowledge of IT, but she’s not been allowed to see them for months.
One night Flora finds a mobile phone on the floor of her cottage. As she stares at it, she’s grabbed from behind. Her attacker is Anders, a boy who used to be at her school. Pocketing the phone, he swears her to silence and vanishes. When Flora finally discovers where he’s gone, she meets a group of rebels. A meeting that changes her life – and everything she thought she knew – for ever.
Rosemary Hayes lives in rural Cambridgeshire but has also lived and worked in the USA and Australia. Her first novel for children Race Against Time (Penguin) won a national award and since then she has written over 40 books for young readers in a variety of genres ranging from historical fiction to fantasy.
Rosemary says, “After visiting one of the remoter Orkney Islands, I was struck by the timeless, wild landscape and thought ‘What if? What if something affected the wider world and this island was left untouched? Would the island leaders be so terrified of contamination that they destroyed all means of electronic communication to keep the population safe? And what if their control was threatened. How would they react? Would they impose stricter and stricter measures? How would life be for the islanders who had grown up with no knowledge of modern technology or of the outside world and where the older members of the community – anyone who knew about computers, mobile phones and their power – are kept segregated in a special guarded compound?”