Title: Safe Harbour
Author: Christina Kilbourne
Publication date: November 16th, 2019
As crazy as her father’s plan sounds, sticking to it is easy for Harbour — until it isn’t.
Fourteen-year-old Harbour is living in a tent in a Toronto ravine with her dog, a two-month supply of canned tuna, and an eccentric reading list. She’s not homeless, she tells herself. She’s merely waiting for her home — a thirty-six-foot sailboat — to arrive with her father at the helm. Why should she worry when the clouds give her signs that assure her that she’s safe and protected?
When her credit card gets declined, phone contact from her father stops, and summer slips into a frosty fall, Harbour is forced to face reality and accept the help of a homeless girl named Lise to survive on the streets. Lise shows Harbour how to panhandle and navigate the shelter system while trying to unravel Harbour’s mysterious past. But if Harbour tells her anything, the consequences could be catastrophic.
**Thank you to Dundurn Press, Christina Kilbourne, and Netgalley for providing me an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
Harbour is 14 years old and used to living on a boat with her father, ever since her mom died. This time, her dad has her take the bus to Toronto while he sails there, he says it will be a great adventure. When weeks pass and Harbour is living by herself in a tent in a ravine with her dog, Tuff Stuff, she starts to worry about him. Thankfully, she meets Lise, a young, homeless girl who starts to look out for her. They share food and spend all their time together, until winter starts to set in and it starts to look like something happened to Harbour’s dad. When Harbour’s credit card is declined, she starts to panic, especially because she is keeping a secret that could affect everyone.
This book was fairly solid. It was shorter than I’m used to, but it was nice to be able to get through a book quickly. It was interesting reading about a girl who is basically homeless, trying to convince everyone around her that she is not homeless. Lise is a great asset to her, and she was frankly my favorite part of the book. I respect people who are able to make the most out of tough situations, and sometimes Harbour comes off as very whiny and ungrateful for the help Lise was providing. Also, I really have concerns about a dad that has his young daughter living on a boat, at one point stranding her on islands overnight, and then sending her to travel from Miami to Toronto by bus with only a dog to keep her company.
I felt the ending of this went to quickly and the big reveal wasn’t given enough emphasis. Harbour was SO convinced of this one thing, and then very quickly got over it with no issue. It didn’t follow with her personality and demeanor throughout the book. Definitely a missed plot point there and one thing I would change.
This was overall a solid choice. It was well written and kept my attention throughout the book.
Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂