Madge Darling hates her life. She lives with her cruel Grandma Wendy who rules with an iron fist, but she dreams of running away and finding her mother, who Wendy claims is dead. When Wendy has a heart attack, Madge seizes the opportunity and heads to Chicago, in a search of a woman she believes to be her mother.
On her way, Peter Pan entices her to Neverland, where children never grow up, and Madge finds herself in a place where magic is around every corner and fun is the name of the game. But it’s not all fun and games in Neverland, and Peter’s twisted ideas of reality reveal the darker side of Neverland, a Neverland that is no longer a place of the light.
All Darling Children is a sort-of sequel to Peter Pan, but readers looking for a Disney version of the tale beware. This is not your parents’ Neverland, and Peter Pan is not a happy-go-lucky leader looking out for the welfare of his boys. Madge is a great character, far more adult than her age, fourteen, indicates, and she fights hard when thrown into a situation far beyond her experiences. I really enjoyed reading this, but it makes me look at the cartoon version a little bit differently.
(Galley courtesy of Red Adept Publishing via NetGalley.)