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Review by Suze
Ami has fond memories of Culion where she's living with her Nanay, her mother. However, Culion isn't just a regular island, it's a leprosy colony and Ami's mother is infected. So far Ami has managed to remain healthy and she's taking care of her mother. There's much love between them, but then all islanders who aren't sick are being forced to leave and Ami will be separated from her beloved Nanay. She finds comfort in beautiful butterflies, but they can't replace the feeling of home. Will she be able to say goodbye to her mother before it's too late?
The Island at the End of Everything is a beautiful story about illness, love, loss and butterflies. I was immediately captivated by Ami's story. She's such a strong and resilient girl and she has a lot of love to give. Reading about how people saw Culion and its inhabitants broke my heart. I had tears in my eyes due to the unfair circumstances the people there were forced to live in and Kiran Millwood Hargrave's emphatic descriptions of both the illness itself and the people who are infected made me fall in love with the book even more.
The Island at the End of Everything is a captivating and poignant story. Being separated from the only family you know is heartbreaking, especially when that person is ill and will most likely die soon. Even though it's a sad topic the story is filled with hope as well. Ami has a future ahead of her, she's smart and capable and she has the butterflies to bring her beauty in her time of despair. I couldn't wait to find out where that would lead and if she'd have a chance to be reunited with her mother, which made it impossible for me to stop reading. Fortunately the quality of the story remains high from beginning to end and everything comes together in a brilliant way. I highly recommend The Island at the End of Everything, it's a fantastic thought-provoking story, an absolute must-read.
If you love beautiful emotional stories you will definitely like The Island at the End of Everything. The story is both suitable for children and adults.