A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively // Book review // Before I share my thoughts on the content of this middle grade fantasy, I must gush over the charm and loveliness of this cover! Isn’t it just the sweetest! The title, A Stitch in Time, is a clever reference to a Victorian needlepoint sampler as well as a parallel timeline linking the present and the past.

In regards the story itself, I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed getting to know the protagonist through the first half of the novel. Maria is a thoughtful, kind, respectful, only child with an abundance of imagination. As an only child she is often alone with her thoughts and therefore finds herself talking to animals and trees. Themes of family, loneliness, reality versus imagination, acceptance, change and the passage of time are woven throughout this coming-of-age story. 

The story in the second half of the book felt underdeveloped in the advancement of the plot. The mystery of the barking dog, unidentified child and creaking swing grabbed my attention in the beginning and then the details just kind of fizzled out by the end.  Although I enjoyed her atmospheric writing style in her creation of place and time, I personally thought that the many evolution/Darwin references distracted from the storytelling.

Have you read this book or any other books by this author? I am looking forward to reading Penelope Lively's other fiction written for an adult audience. I would love to hear your thoughts!