I read a lot of fabulous books over the summer holidays, and this book, The extremely inconvenient adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty, was one of my favourites. Miss 11 received it for Christmas, and demolished it over a day or two. And yes, Jaclyn Moriarty is Liane Moriarty’s sister – the latter wrote Big little lies and Truly, madly, guiltily among other books.
Perfect for girls aged 9-12, this book is about ten-year-old Bronte, who finds out that her parents were killed by pirates. As her parents left her with her Aunt Isabelle when she was a baby, Bronte is not exactly heartbroken by this news. But she’s alarmed when her parents’ will states she must visit her eleven aunts and bring them a small, specified gift.
This inconvenient adventure means Bronte must travel alone, visit aunts she hasn’t met, eat certain foods, be at particular places – all carefully orchestrated for reasons that Bronte can’t understand. If she doesn’t follow her parents’ instructions to the letter, her home town will fall apart.
The eleven aunts are all interesting, original characters who sail the seas, look after dragons or run small countries.
I loved the whimsical blend of realism and fantasy with such an original concept. It’s a wonderful quest story, and the ending brings together all the clues – and the aunts – scattered throughout the book.
It’s a thick book with a gorgeous blue and gold cover – enticing to readers who want a long book. I would encourage more reluctant readers to give it a go as it’s a satisfying read.
Readers might also be interested to know that Jaclyn wrote most of this book in a chocolate shop! You can hear more about how Jaclyn wrote her book in an interview on the So you want to be a writer podcast.
It’s always good to be reminded that chocolate can help creativity!