Letters to a Prince
In this story humour and tragedy are well matched
What do you do when everyone is always talking about money? When your father is at sea and you no longer hear from him? If you have to move house and the lady next door has very different ideas from your granny, who lives with you? If your mother suddenly has to look for a job? Lin has her own solutions. She creeps under the table, listens to what the grown-ups are saying and decides to write to her father. ‘When he has beaten the sea./ My Daddy will come back./ Then we will have a big party./ And I will show him these letters./ I think my Daddy is a prince.’
She keeps the letters she writes in a box under her bed, together with the pink shells from the beach. Every letter reveals something about Lin’s life. That her mother and her granny are not getting on so well. That her mother has to earn money, because her father is not there. That moving house is not at all easy. That there are some neighbours who can really cheer you up. And that Lin is the only one who believes her father will come back.
One day, it is suddenly brought home to her that reality is different from her fantasy. She will have to accept the fact that her father was swept overboard and never found.
Only then she can make a new start and begin to enjoy fairytales, camping and the stars. She decides to put her letters into bottles and send them out to sea.
Kruit’s language is plain, but evocative. She gives the young reader an opportunity to go his or her own way in unravelling events. Humour and tragedy are well matched in this story.