This is my ending, Davy. You’ve hardly begun.
Orphan Davy David struggles to make ends meet in the hopeless village of Brownvale. Days before Christmas, a stray dog named George completely changes Davy's life, as Davy triggers a series of events that force them to leave.
The two of them are transported by a cunning wind to an abandoned museum outside of town, where they encounter Miss Flint, an elderly hermit. She hires the hesitant Davy (and the little stray who follows him around named George) to accompany her on her final excursion before her time is up. However, the strangest thing happens as they move along: Miss Flint gets younger and younger with each mile, and the tale of her life progresses along with it.
The Road to Ever After by Moira Young is a 211-page contemporary-fantasy novel best suited for ages twelve and up. Its magical adventure, filled with unlikely friendships and a crazy turn of events, is determined to tug at your heartstrings.
This book had a generally unsettling writing style. Its prose focused on the strangeness of what was happening while describing the scene from an original perspective. The first three chapters felt aimless, which is the only part of the book that bothered me and made it less memorable.
It started by presenting Davy David, a typical main character who was orphaned, lonely, and artistic. His ironic name was also courtesy of his dead mother. His choice of artwork, sweeping angels, appealed to me because of its original, unique notion. You read that correctly. Davy is the town's anonymous angel maker who scatters angry-looking angels in residents' front yards after copying them from a library book (which was later given to him.) Davy is a quiet boy who keeps to himself, going about with the “unmemorable main character” trope, but he minds his business for a little too long and it dragged the beginning.
Although sweeping angels seems rather poetic, not everyone finds it appealing to have a mean-looking angel on their front lawn. I can't remember the name of the grumpy man Davy's photographs accidentally brought up because he was never a particularly noteworthy character. Davy is forced to flee, but he could have made that decision three chapters earlier, for a different purpose that would've made the book more intriguing. The call to action was when he practically hunts Davy down like any heartless wench does.
The first act of this novel never gave the slightest hint that the plot was going to "jump." If you’re a reader who loves the daily routines of a character being shared, you’ll appreciate this pacing, but that’s just not me.
There were many ideas throughout the story, like a small group of kind homeless people who gave Davy some food in order to celebrate, that I wish played a bigger part in the story. The ending didn’t achieve any closure about many little aspects because they were sprinkled in like sugar and salt.
The story "officially" began in the fifth chapter, when Davy meets Elizabeth Flint, an old woman with her death planned out. She wants "unmemorable, insignificant Davy" to assist her in her journey to, um, swallow some pills and die. Her funeral is prepared. She needs the assistance of a young stranger, who could easily be a thief. She’ll pay him a huge sum in exchange, assuming that he doesn’t take some money, go back to his boring town, and never come back.
Miss Flint appears wealthy, or at least, she generously rewards Davy with a mouthful of cash for performing even the simplest tasks, so at first, I felt nothing toward their relationship (not in a weird way). She also takes him to a nice restaurant. The pace quickened as they rented a place to stay and got to know one another (which was adorable, again, not in a weird way).
But the problem was that the relationships Davy had in the first act, such as a kindly librarian and a few people who helped him along the way, the story temporarily forgot about them. Did I mention that there was a loving stray dog, and he was attached to Davy for no reason, too? The idea was overdone, but I loved it nonetheless. Anything for the dog!