With loss comes longing. With trust comes betrayal. And with the black-haired boy comes a choice: Beatrix can stay with her loving found-family in dreary post-war Durnham, or sail away with him to find her long-lost mother, never to return. Beatrix isn’t sure she should trust him—until he shows her a paper cutting only her mother could have created. SPLENDORS & GLOOMS + BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA.
Beatrix often dreamed her mother was behind a closed door, and if she could find the right one—the right house, the right door—she would find her.
But this morning, as she leaned out her bedroom window—all the way out—to view Durnham through her monocular, Beatrix peered not at doors. Nor at the rubble of the church next to her orphanage, nor at the enemy soldiers—the Others—walking down the pavement, nor at the gloomy sky. Instead, her gaze followed the cobbles of St. Lucie Street down, down, past horses and carriages to the foggy harbor, then up, up to the clock tower—but not high enough to notice the iron silhouette of the soldier perched on top—just high enough to glimpse the gargoyles guarding the clock face.
Only then did Beatrix gaze upon her intended destination, where she had played in the snow with her mother on the night she disappeared, many years ago. Every morning, she looked at the townsquare, hoping to find her mother.
Every morning, she sighed, disappointed.
At least there was always her beloved Cuttiere’s, the island’s finest, and only, stationer. Beatrix skimmed past the market to find Mr. C, enjoying his morning espresso at his usual table in the square.
At first glance, it looked like any other Saturday in Durnham.
Except today, sitting with Mr. C, was this boy.