Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Best Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass
Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz and John Joseph (Illustrations)
Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2 by Hinowa Kouzuki
Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly
Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay
Jackpot by Nic Stone
The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason and Byron Eggenschwiler (Illustrator)
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes and Frankie Corzo (narrator)
Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany
Samantha Spinner and the Perplexing Pants by Russell Ginns
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay
The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte
Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett, Gayle Leeson and Jorjeana Marie (narrator)

October 2021 Sources

October 2021 Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

Sisters of the Neversea: 11/30/21

Sisters of the Neversea

Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith is another in the present day trend of retelling and reconceptualizing Peter Pan against a modern setting. Of the ones I've read so far, this one is the closet to the original text and the most critical.

In this version, Wendy and John are the step siblings of Lily and the half siblings of Michael. Lily and Michael through their mother are Muscogee Creek. Wendy for her storytelling is a rare girl to be invited. Lily, being an "Injun" as Peter calls her, is left behind when Wendy and Michael take off for Neverland.

Neverland in the original is set up as a late 19th century, early 20th century British boy's utopia. It has animals to hunt, tree houses to live in, endless sword fights, pirates, a man eating crocodile, and so forth. Cynthia Leitich Smith through Lily and Michael has a dialog with the original text to decolonize Neverland.

Lily with help from Peter's shadow ends up at Neverland despite not being invited. Through her we get to see where the Indian kids go, (if/when they are lured to Neverland). We also learn through them the history of the island and of its failing environment due to poor land management by Peter and the Lost. It's an interesting and rational observation that Barrie's version of Neverland wouldn't be, couldn't be sustainable for the century and more that Peter's been living there with the Lost (Boys).

One detail all the recent pastiches/retellings I've read share is that Peter Pan is a villain. Because of inviting the Darlings to Neverland, he is remembered as a kidnapper of children. In the original the Lost (Boys) are orphans and have made a found family of sorts on Neverland where they stay perpetually children. While the text is there to be a hopeful/ joyful message for children, especially to those who don't have a family or don't have the ideal family, Peter's actions can have darker interpretations.

In this version, Peter's destructive nature is blamed in part on an over exposure to Belle's fairy dust. As in absolute power corrupts absolutely. And when it's magic power, its corruptions can be monstrous.

Neverland, being a utopia, naturally sits on the road narrative spectrum.

This particular version sits slightly lower than the original since the dialog with the text has refocused on protecting Neverland and its resources. The travelers (the Native children vs the Lost children) are set up in a scarecrow (protector) and minotaur (monster/destroyer) (99) dichotomy. Their destination is still utopia (FF) and their route their is still an offroad one (66).

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis