By: Helen Edwards
Genre: YFT - Historical fiction
Published by: Yellow Brick Books
Published: 11 Oct 2023
ISBN: 9780645218077


Its 1998 and Clara and her parents are staying at the Mount Buffalo Chalet for the Centenary celebrations. This visit couldnt be more different from their last, they were a family of four then. Now they're just three separate people, orbiting around each other while trying to navigate their overwhelming grief. Without her twin brother, Clara doesn't know who she is.Then she meets a girl who lives within the fern-filled valleys below Mount Buffalo.

Clara is surprised to discover the girl is actually Guide Alice, a rebel of her time, an adventurous non-conformist who spent much of her life boldly leading people along rugged trails between granitetors and misty mountain peaks. When Clara and Alice come face-to-face with danger on the mountain, Clara must rediscover the courage she has always had and become the person she was always meant to be...

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Ever since the death of her twin brother Darius in a terrible car accident Clara’s family has slowly fallen apart. They have always had an affinity with Mount Buffalo, and now with celebrations of the mountain's centenary taking place they are all going together to participate. Could this be a step in getting her parents to reunite?

But when they get to the mountain, Clara wakes up on the first day 100 years in the past, in the presence of Guide Alice Manfield, who Clara has read so much about. Alice and her family were instrumental in the development of tourism and the preservation of Mount Buffalo. She was a nearly non-conformist and ground breaking woman who believed that women were able to achieve great things.

Clara learns so much in the time she spends with the Manfield family, which is a true history lesson in itself, but she also learns to regain her own bravery when she faces difficulty and uses modern medical skills to help save two people on the Mountain. Alice eventually believes that Clara has, in fact, time travelled but will they be able to find a way to get Clara back to her own time?

Based on a true story of a pioneering young woman who is hardly known in Australian history, this is an inspirational time slip novel set in Australia in the 1890s. Filled with historical facts including things I wasn't familiar with, like the recession of the time, this is an ideal classroom novel for upper primary and lower secondary students. Containing themes of grief, courage, early feminism, bullying and resilience all within a true Australian history lesson, lower secondary readers will greatly enjoy this story.

Reviewed by Rob