Tender Earth

In this, the third in the Artichoke Hearts series, we are launched straight back into the lively Leveson household where there is change afoot. The story centres on Laila, the youngest and quietest of the three siblings, who is growing up, reluctantly and suddenly. Between the move into secondary school, her brothers and sisters moving out and onwards, her childhood best friend caught up in new things, unsettling their friendship, Laila is forced to consider what this means and where she fits in.

Laila, in navigating changes in her personal world, becomes aware of all that is occurring outside her familiar home and surroundings. When her Nana Josie’s Protest Book is unexpectedly shared with her, Laila considers the ideals passed on and their place in her lived reality.

This is a tale about friendship and communication across race, religion, age, and class. It’s about taking what we think to be true and re-examining it; questioning what is the right action and when. Laila realises that things are not always as they may appear, that people can act in different ways for different reasons, that even those she knows can act and think in ways unexpected, and most importantly, she too can surprise and inspire others and her own self.

Sita Brahmachari delicately handles bigger issues through individual characters and their stories, easily told and interspersed with lively conversation, texts and phone calls, computer messaging and letters, this is a modern story of one girl growing up for readers 10+