Bodil Bredsdorff chooses another one of her multi-faceted characters to focus on. Tink, who we first meet as a small and miserable child, is now a little older - but still uncertain of his place in the world. In Crow Cove, survival is never a given, and Tink is sure he has broken the fragile line between the little community and starvation. But then he discovers someone who is even more of an outcast than himself; Burd, the abusive drunkard Foula and Eidi fled from. However, it is Burd who saves them all from starvation and helps Tink decide where he belongs and how he can contribute to their community.
Bredsdorff's spare prose contains volumes in just a few words, looks and thoughts. Her characters are focused on the essentials needed for survival, but are still fully realized emotional beings. As the children grow up and choose lives for themselves, each one must adjust to maintain the balance of the small community.
Although the length of the story may tempt librarians to offer it as a beginning chapter book, this story deals with intense emotions and ideas that some children may not be ready for, so I would recommend this for the older side of the 8-12 range.
Verdict: Hand this to thoughtful middle graders and teens who will appreciate the beautiful language and enter fully into the experiences of the characters.
ISBN: 9780374312688; Published May 10, 2011; Reviewed from ARC received at ALA