Esme's Wish

Esme's Wish

by Elizabeth Foster

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When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the actions of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781925652253
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Publication date: 10/30/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 625,982
File size: 824 KB
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Foster grew up in Brisbane, Australia, and now lives in Sydney. Apart from writing and reading, which take up most of her time, she loves swimming in the ocean, walking, and playing the piano (badly). As a child, she was called Dizzy Lizzy-which she regarded as an insult all her life, until she started writing. Now, daydreaming is a central part of what she does. Reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds, and once she started writing stories, she couldn't stop. Esme's Wish is her first novel.

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Esme's Wish 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Jewelsey More than 1 year ago
Fifteen year old Esme Silver’s mother has been missing for several years. Everyone around Esme, including her father, say that her mother, Ariane, was lost at sea. But Esme begs to differ. She knows how careful her mother was and what a strong swimmer she was also. Something doesn’t add up. Esme protests her father’s remarriage and she is perceived as being a spoiled, rebellious teenager. But for Esme, it’s because she can’t accept or believe her mother is dead. She knows that there is more to it. While her father is on his honeymoon Esme sets out to look for her mother. That is when her grand adventure begins. Esme is transported to a beautiful enchanting city where the blue water sparkles and the orange dragons lurk. Esme makes a couple of good friends along the way and together they are determined to find Esme’s mother. Esme’s love for her mother compels her and keeps her determined to be strong and forge ahead to find her. Esme’s Wish is a true gem. It is an enchanting fantasy story full of adventure, excitement and danger. Author Elizabeth Foster has constructed a beautiful tale for young readers as well as adults. I was caught up from the very beginning and read continuously to the satisfying and conclusive end. Esme’s Wish is likened unto J.R.R. Tolkien with a dash of Harry Potter. It is written extremely well and the creativity that went into this story is fabulous. The world that Elizabeth Foster has created is a wondrous, captivating and mysterious place filled with magic, creatures and boundless beauty. In Esme’s Wish, there are countless descriptions that excite and delight the imaginary senses. The theme of familial love flows throughout the storyline. You won’t find any sappy romance in this story, which was a breath of fresh air to me. Only good friends working, surviving and enjoying an enchanted land in search for Esme’s beloved mother. I have read many fantasy stories but Esme’s Wish is one of the best. The characters are likable and realistic. They are multi layered and well developed. They evolve and are woven within the storyline with creative care. There is plenty of feeling to keep the reader emotionally engaged and plenty of adventure to keep the reader exhilarated and enthralled. Esme’s Wish is a tender and mesmerizing fantasy that readers of all ages will love. I couldn’t put the book down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would read it again. That’s how good it is. Esme’s Wish is Elizabeth Foster’s first novel. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series by this excellent writer.
Mark ODwyer More than 1 year ago
“I’m going to find out what happened to you, Mum, no matter what.” From the startling opening wedding scene of Esme’s Wish to the highly satisfying conclusion, this novel aimed at younger readers is a fine read for those of any age who still yearn for wondrous worlds. This older, ahem, vastly older reader, felt immersed in Aeolia's realm of blue water and orange dragons. I enjoyed the pacing, the mystery, and also the perfect language which does not assume that younger readers will flinch from some longer words that are precisely placed for the sentence. Above all, I was gripped by a fallible child’s quest for her missing mother, Ariane, and, as her doubts grew about Ariane’s actions and motives, her determination to find the truth. The praise I’d meant to lavish on this book can be read in so many reviews by delighted readers that I will take another tack: how the producer of the movie (a movie must be made) could so easily bungle it, as they have for too many once-glittering worlds (poor ruined Narnia, for instance). “Silently she sat, swamped by a loneliness her small frame couldn’t contain”. Bungle one: the casting. Fifteen year old Esme with hair “as stringy as sea grass matting” feels small and abandoned, lurching between nights of despair and getting her nerve up for each stage of her quest. She must not be portrayed as a drop-dead gorgeous, confident 19 year old who need only flick her hair to bring wizards and warriors rushing to her help. “ .. Esme barrelled into a boy … A spyglass flew out of his hand, spun high in the air, and thwacked him on the side of his head on the way down.” Bungle two: The dreaded sloppy romance angle. There isn’t one. In what a producer will itch to turn into a classic movie “meet cute” scene, Esme does run into Daniel. She also meets a girl, Lillian. The point here is that Esme, after having been shunned for years, must go about the awkward and messy business of learning what it is like to have friends. “This library holds the largest collection of song spells in all of Aeolia”. Bungle three: skimming over Esme’s search in favour of visual "action": earthquakes, swooping dragons, and strange creatures in lagoons. Esme’s strength is that she starts with only a few clues and her determination, but keeps on at it, scouring compendiums and researching the wonderful Library. She absorbs new learning, both magic and science, plans out her moves and takes sometimes incautious lunges forward without help. No magic wands to solve it all here. “The dots were soon recognisable as a flight of orange dragons, their wings beating like sails beneath bolting clouds”. The world of Aeolia is breathtaking, and the producer’s instinct to flood our retinas with overblown imagery would detract from the story. This is about Esme and Ariane. Try instead, producers, to match Elizabeth Foster’s craft: make your scenes fleeting and vivid, deft brushstrokes rather than visual battering rams. I will leave you now to the wind-played harps and song spells of Esperance in Aeolia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well-constructed tale of a young girl's journey and quest, as she seeks her absent mother in an elemental hidden world. Esme (Esm-eee, not Esm-ay) dares dangers and her own untrusting nature to venture to the amazing city of Esperance, where she finds friends, adventure, affirmation, and a perilous task which only she can perform. Full of the power of love and the urgency of saving the complex world into which she fits so well, Esme is an engaging and fully-realised hero. Dedicated fantasy readers like me will enjoy the fantastic beasts and magic rationale of this story, and newcomers will be delighted by the concepts and the wonderful sea-world images in this richly described action tale. I hope there's a sequel because there are still some aspects I'd like to know more about! Enjoy. Highly recommended.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite Esme’s Wish is a captivating, excellently-written novel. Author Elizabeth Foster did a great job of keeping me reading as I followed Esme’s journey to investigate the disappearance of her mother, a brilliant painter. A messenger bird and a trail of clues in her mother’s art diary lead young Esme through a portal to the dimension of Aeolia. In Aeolia, the city of Esperance rises from an enchanted ocean. Water is the heart and soul of Aeolia’s being—and as Esme begins to discover that water is the core of her being as well, she finds clues about her mother’s doings here. But Esperance is in trouble. Earthquakes are tearing the city apart and time is running out for Esme to solve the puzzle. This colorful, well-constructed tale is as much detective story as fantasy and deftly blends both elements into a page-turning plot that hooks the reader in. I was fascinated by the creative water world of Aeolia, described in Elizabeth Foster’s limpid, seductive prose. As Esme learns, “The history of Aeolia is writ in water,” and I liked the elaborate, detailed spin the story took on this idea. People in Esperance can live underwater, breathe underwater, walk on water, and manipulate water, and most people are born with a special magical Gift. The world’s lushly described architecture, mythology, sirens, and dragons create the allure of being whisked away into a great adventure, and every chapter offers another piece of Aeolia to explore. Esme’s Wish ends on a bit of an abrupt note, leaving room for more tales of Esperance yet to come.
BookwormforKids 8 months ago
Magic, adventure, and beautiful writing make this a book to sink into and never leave. Esme is anything but thrilled by her father's choice as he remarries, especially since the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her mother a few years before are still unclear. Well, at least in her mind. Everyone else wants her to let go, but she can't. When she sneaks away from the ever tightening choke hold her new life has placed on her and ventures to the vacation cabin her mother loved to visit, she ends up following a strange behaving bird down to the beach. One slip and she finds herself tugged underwater into the strange world her mother told her about, but Esme was convinced existed only as fantasy. And now, her adventure really begins. The first pages dive head first into Esme's unfortunate situation. It takes a second to settle into what's going on, but the story takes off from there. The author does a fantastic job at building subtle tension and mystery. It quickly becomes clear that something isn't right and that Esme's unwillingness to let go of her mother's memory probably isn't due to stubbornness. But the reasons behind this as well as the clear recognition are left in a mysterious haze, creating the perfect tension and opening up to the upcoming adventure. Fantasy and imagination take flight in these pages—something I adore in middle grade novels. The descriptions are vivid yet never overwhelm. There's a great balance of familiarity and fantasy, which allows the reader to feel right at home while confronting wondrous creatures such as dragons. Esme's determined and kind, yet a little unsure. She fits the age group well and is easy to relate to. Those around her have distinct personalities and the relationships (good and bad) are fun to root for. Add the exciting world, dabs at Greek mythology and an adventure to keep the reader on the edge of the seat, and it's simply a wonderful read. The ending rounds things off nicely while still allowing a few open doors to the rest of the series—ones that promise more adventure and fun.
CindyCipriano More than 1 year ago
Skillful imagery places the reader right on Picton Island right alongside Esme, a heartbroken and lonely fifteen year old who cannot move on after the loss of her mother. I commend Foster on her creativity with regards to water. “Water has a memory of its own.” I absolutely love the way water has memories, much like Esme has memories of her lost mother. If you are a fan of Narnia, like me, you need to read this book. You will not be disappointed. Foster has crafted a beautiful and believable world that anyone would love to see. Esme’s wish is so well-written that one actually feels they are a part of Foster’s world.
Madison Wheatley More than 1 year ago
Esme's Wish tells the story of a young girl who travels to another world in search of her mother--a world called Aeolia, where dragons and humans co-exist, where the water is as breathable as air, and where people are endowed with a wide array of magical powers (known as Gifts). Despite Aeolia's beauty, there's an undercurrent of danger; the city of Esperance is rocked by earthquakes, and Gifts are failing. As Esme (along with her friends Daniel and Lillian) searches for her mother, the case becomes increasingly complicated, to the point where she knows she's not just trying to rescue one person: she must restore balance to Aeolia itself. What I loved about Esme's Wish was its overall mood. Elizabeth Foster has a way of drawing readers into the enchanted world of Aeolia. Her worldbuilding is intricate and detailed without going overboard. After reading Esme's Wish, I felt as though I was an expert on Aeolia's lore. This novel portrays a fantasy world that I'd LOVE to live in. The description is simply gorgeous. In addition, the story itself flows well; overall, there's a good balance of fast-paced action and quiet, character-building moments. While there are points where the story does lag, the beautiful description makes up for it. The biggest strength I find in this novel, however, is the element of mystery. Foster has expertly woven enough questions to keep the reader guessing, especially when it comes to Esme's mother; when one question is answered, it only triggers another, until the pieces slowly come together. As far as weaknesses go, I would have liked to see more depth to Esme's character. I don't think she's bad, and she certainly grows and changes as the novel progresses. Still, I'd have liked to have seen a bit more detail in her character. Overall, Esme's Wish is a strong debut from a promising author. It's well-paced, beautifully written, and draws the reader with its own brand of mystery and magic. Not only would this book be a welcome addition to any middle school or high school classroom library, but adults who enjoy fantasy will be glad they read Esme's Wish, as well. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
SnarkyKat026 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. This one did surprise me, as I thought that I would be reading a book for younger kids than what it turned out to be. I think that this might be due to the cover, as I got the impression of one for 8 year-olds, though after a few pages I quickly ascertained that this would be better for 10 year olds up. This actually brings me to one of the slightly jarring parts of the story, in the fact that the main character (Esme) is supposed to be about sixteen. It didn't align with the words and the characterization of the people featured in the book, and while it didn't seem to feature at all. Esme was sixteen, but didn't appear to act like it, or have the issues that a sixteen year old would be facing. I'd maybe put it more as a fiction book written for teenagers back in the 50's and 60's, where everything was much more innocent. I'd think that it might work better if Esme was twelve or thirteen, rather than be so much older. Once I disregarded the age of the main character, I easily fell into enjoying it. I adored the world that is created, especially in how it is accessible for anyone from ours. I enjoyed the Atlantean feal of it, with the water being so important and fundemental to the world that Esme visits and also the magic surrounding it. The author went out of their way to have layers in explaining this world, with its' own myths and past that we learned right alongside Esme. It also never felt like information dumping, as it was easily weaved into the story. And this also follows through with the actual adventure Esme goes through. It was completely different then what I expected. Despite my age, and I'm over thirty, I didn't have the issue of guessing long before it happened certain events; what would occur next and every twist and turn felt original. The characters that surrounded Esme had a purpose. They weren't just there to dump background that all of a sudden needed to be known, or just to flit in and out to move the story forward. They had a purpose, and didn't detract at all. What's an unfortunate side-effect of many children's stories is that the adults are either just to be barriers to the main character moving forward, or else just -wise women/men- who appear only to pass on information, but that doesn't happen here. The main character Esme, and her two friends (Daniel and Lillian) are rounded enough that when one of their magic or skills are needed, it doesn't suddenly come out of nowhere. The author is extremely clever in laying down the hints and paths to this being needed long before the actual action sequence, and this shows through in all the characters. I'm not within the reading demographic of this story, but I enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it to any customers who are looking for a good book for a girl, as unfortunately I don't think that this will transcend into a book that can be read by girls and boys. It's a sad issue, as I believe that boys would be highly invested in it, especially with how likeable and interesting Daniel is. So, this book is being given three stars out of five. I wouldn't have it on my shelf, but I am glad that I did read it.
archakr More than 1 year ago
Esme's Wish is a great adventure story for middle schoolers / young adults. I found it to be a quick read and lacking depth, but I'm a little out of the target age group. It was still a captivating adventure through an unknown world on a quest for answers; about doing what you believe to be right in the face of opposition, and learning the value of friendship along the way. I would definitely recommend it. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
RgBooktrovert More than 1 year ago
I loved the two worlds and how beautiful and whimsical Esperance was. I love dragons so that was another bonus for me! There were a whole lot of magical creatures and the gifts some of the people of Esperance had were very interesting. (I think my favorite was the songspells) I just loved the world building and Miss Foster described everything vividly. There’s also a book map in the beginning which is a plus for me. The middle is slightly slow paced as Esme puts together pieces and tries to find out what happened to Ariane but I was able to stick to it with no problems. This would probably be considered YA since Esme is fifteen but this book was refreshingly clean (bonus points!) so a middle grader could read this without worrying about inappropriate content and profanity. Overall I really enjoyed Esme’s Wish and if you haven’t read then you should definitely give it a try! I’m ready for book two! Ding ding! Rating: 4.5 Stars! Recommendation: For fantasy lovers and bookdragons of all ages! FTC DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review
JeyranMain More than 1 year ago
Esme’s Wish is a young adult fantasy. Esme Silver is a stubborn fifteen-year-old girl who is struggling with the disappearance of her mother. Her father remarries and leaves her behind. That is when she begins to follow her suspicions in order to discover what really happened to her mother. The beautiful world of Aeolia is where she reaches many answers and, there, her journey begins in realizing what really happened to her. I found the world building to be very strong. I believe that is what made this book stand out. The main character was strong yet vulnerable to things that mattered to her most. Her persona towards the magical world was beautifully told and the author tells this legendary story in an enchanted way, grabbing your attention till the end. I would recommend this book to young readers and it was very suitable for the genre. Sometimes we seek closure no matter how unordinary it may seem for others. I believe this story represented many things and the message it held was strong. Believe in yourself and seek answers, even when no one else cares.
Angela Walton More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a fan of fantasy. Something really has to get into my head and capture my imagination for me to enjoy it. From the introductory blurb, this had my attention. it had magic, friendship, mystery, danger and dragons! Oh my dragons, I do love them. And these dragons weren't fearsome creatures but majestic and admired. Esme was a young girl, lost and cast aside in our world but fitted right in when she got to Esperance. Her new friends made her feel welcome and inspired her, encouraging her to find her way and her mother. And that's all she ever wanted to do, find out what happened to her mother. She was a very likeable narrator and you really cared for her and wanted her to succeed in her quest. Elizabeth Forster brought the whole world of Esperance to life, you could almost imagine yourself to be there, her descriptions were so full of life and colour. I was utterly charmed by this book and cannot wait to read the next book in the series.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Seven years after the disappearance of Esme's mother, Esme's father is ready to move on. The same can't be said about his daughter, Esme doesn't want him to marry someone else, but her objections are being ignored. When her father and his new wife leave Esme at home while going on honeymoon together, Esme decides to investigate the mysterious vanishing. Her search leads her to Aeolia, an enchanted world she accesses by accident. There Esme finds the first clues about her mother's actions before she was never seen again. Will she be able to get some much needed answers? Esme stays in Esperance, a beautiful canal city plagued by earthquakes. Esme isn't well liked at home because of her mother, but here her mother was popular and Esme soon finds two allies. Daniel and Lillian are kind to Esme and they help her with her mission. Esme never expected to find such good friends. While getting to know more about Aeolia's history Esme discovers her mother had an entire life there, she only knew part of the woman she so admired. What was her mother hiding and why did she disappear? Esme's Wish is a gripping magical story. Esme is a fantastic main character. She's smart, gentle and caring. She's never given up on her mother and her loyalty knows no bounds. I was incredibly curious about each truth she unravels. Esme is having a great adventure and I enjoyed every single moment of it. She's a resilient and determined girl and she constantly conquers her fears, which is something I admired about her. She's a fantastic main character and it was a joy to read her story. I really liked reading about her friendship with Lillian and Daniel, they have such a heartwarming bond, which for me was one of the best parts of the book. Elizabeth Foster's writing has a nice easy flow. She has fabulous world building skills and I was impressed by her vivid descriptions of Aeolia and the mesmerizing way she writes about magic. Esme's Wish is filled with surprising twists and turns and I loved searching for clues together with the brave Esme. Esme's Wish is a terrific beginning of a series and I can't wait to read more about Esme and her friends. Elizabeth Foster completely enchanted me with her wonderful story and I look forward to the next one.
Advicesbooks More than 1 year ago
I must admit I never read a fantasy novel filled with horror and mystery hints. Even though, it is apparently a fantasy tale such as Alice in the wonderland, plot and characters are worthy of a great mystery book. From a side, there is Esme, a little girl who endured the early death of her mother, lost at sea some years ago. From another side, there is a hidden truth, an awful secret that surrounds the disappearing of Esme’s mother. Has she really died? Has she really drowned during a sea trip? These are the typical questions of a mystery novel and this is not only a fantasy magic tale for teens, but a great mystery novel for everybody. I will never forget this novel, its gripping twists and its wonderful descriptions about strange sea worlds inhabited by strange creatures, extinct monsters and flying dragons. But, above all, I will never forget a book surrounded by the most important love, the one between a mother and her daughter.