Where is the Monster? Review: Neverland by Margot McGovern

Where is the Monster? Review: Neverland by Margot McGovern

Kit Learmonth has returned home from boarding school after a failed attempt to end her life.

Home for the famous Learmonth family is an island dubbed Neverland where Kit’s father, a renowned author, once created a mythical world for his daughter filled with adventure, pirates, selks and mermaids.

Neverland is now far from the fantasy world of her childhood and is literally an island for lost children and is where troubled teens are treated by Doc, Kit’s uncle and a psychiatrist. Despite her return as a patient this time, being home still brings her great comfort at a time when Kit has lost hope.

With the spectre of the tragic death of her parents looming over her, Kit retreats from the real world and re-enters the fantasy. Unsure what the future holds and fighting herself when memories of trouble in her childhood are rising to the surface, she engages in night-time escapes, ill-advised relationships and reckless behavior.

When Kit’s memories of her father as a distracted but attentive genius and her glamorous mother are challenged, she begins to rebel against her uncle and the genuine love he constantly tries to show her. With little thought for anyone around her, Kit spirals into a very dark place.

Kit’s gift for storytelling and fantasy have allowed her to repress a traumatic childhood and the truth about the death of her parents. However, when the ‘monster’ that resides in Neverland re-appears, Kit must now face her greatest challenge to remember what really happened in Neverland on the night her parents died in order to move on.

Filled with suspense, darkness and loss but balanced with camaraderie, bravery and love, Margot McGovern’s richly layered plot explores the world of teens who are challenged by what life has dealt them and the many ways that they physically and mentally deal with these things.

Many serious issues emerge such as self-harm, anorexia and bi-polar disorder but these are coupled with the challenges of relationships, loyalty and deciding on which direction your future should take.

McGovern has also provided many further reading ideas for teen with references to classics including The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Great Gatsby and a range of others.

Margot McGovern is an Adelaide-based writer who holds a Ph.D. from Flinders University. She is a former associate editor of Ride On cycling magazine and has reviewed for several Australian literary journals, including Australian Book ReviewKill Your Darlings and Viewpoint. Margot blogs at http://lectito.me and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @project_lectito.

Purchase a copy of Neverland

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    Synopsis

    After doing herself near-fatal damage, Kit Learmonth has come home. But it’s a place she hardly recognises: the mermaids are hiding, the witch has packed up her cauldron and the pirates have sailed to more bountiful shores. In their place is Neverland and its inhabitants – damaged teens too sick to be in regular school, but not sick enough to be institutionalised, watched over by her psychiatrist uncle. And Kit is one of them.Kit has a choice. She can use illicit night-time adventures with her friends and mysterious new boy Rohan to avoid the truth. Or she can separate harsh reality from childhood fantasy and try to remember what happened on the night of her parents’ deaths. What really prompted her family’s departure from the island? Was there a monster who drove them away? Is the monster still there?The more Kit uncovers, the more she realises that perhaps she should be afraid …
    Margot McGovern
    About the author

    Margot McGovern

    Margot McGovern is an Adelaide-based writer who holds a Ph.D. from Flinders University. She is a former associate editor of Ride On cycling magazine and has reviewed for several Australian literary journals, including Australian Book ReviewKill Your Darlings and Viewpoint. Margot blogs at http://lectito.me and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @project_lectito.

    Books by Margot McGovern

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    1. Claire Holderness says:

      This sounds great, I’m definitely going to look for this