Shine by Candy Gourlay

Shine is an eerie story set on an island named Mirasol. It rarely stops raining on Mirasol, a place where superstitions and stories of ghosts linger like the dark clouds. Rosa is a teenager living with a rare medical condition we know only as ‘The Calm’. We gradually learn more of Rosa’s mother, who has died, and who also had ‘The Calm’.

As her mother’s story is revealed, Rosa discovers truths about her family and the strange events that have occurred throughout her life. Lonely and obsessed with a photographer who has been taking beautiful pictures of the island, Rosa forms an online friendship with him, but her isolation, illness and fears make this difficult.

Shine is a cleverly addictive and mysterious novel filled with warm characters and moments that do ultimately shine over menacing presences.

Kim Gruschow