Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I, Coriander Audio

I, Coriander Audio

Sally Gardner
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Juliet Stevenson
Listening Library, 2005   ISBN: 0307284190

Coriander has a very comfortable life living with her father and mother in their lovely London home. Her father is a successful and wealthy merchant, and her mother is a gifted herbalist whose healing skills have helped many. It does not seem possible that anything could change this pleasant life, but something does.

One day Coriander is sent a pair of silver shoes. The shoes are lovely and Coriander desperately wants to wear them, but her mother will not allow it. The shoes are hidden away, but Coriander screws up the courage to defy her parents, and she finds them.

At first Coriander loves the shoes, but she soon realizes that here is something about them that is not right. When she tries to remove them she cannot, and then something very strange happens.

Not long after the incident with the shoes, Coriander’s mother gets sick, and to everyone’s horror, she dies. Coriander’s father is distraught and he retreats into himself. His friends worry that his success will anger the new Puritan regime, and so they find a God-fearing woman for him to marry. They never imagine that this new wife will only propel Coriander and her father into even more trouble.

As she struggles to survive, Coriander discovers that her mother came from another world, and Coriander has a role to play in that world too – a role that could bring her life to an abrupt end.

In this captivating and vivid story, Sally Gardener brings the world of faerie to life. Her faerie beings are not lovely, gentle creatures; instead, they are creatures that are as complicated and confusing as humans often are. It is fascinating to see how Coriander grows, and how she learns to fight for the things that matter to her. Set in London during the turbulent years following the English civil war, this is a story that listeners will thoroughly enjoy.

Actress Juliet Stevenson puts her considerable talents to very good use in this recording, perfectly capturing the multi-faceted natures of the characters, and giving listeners a sense of what Coriander’s world is like.