Silva loves her visits to her grandpa’s house on Hayling Island. For Silva and her brother Ollie, the little cottage by the sea has always felt like their real home—a comforting, steady presence in a childhood spent moving from place to place. She knows Grandpa’s getting older, that he’s been more and more forgetful recently, but it’s still a shock when they arrive for a visit to find him in hospital, confused and frail. The doctor says he has dementia, and he’s only going to get worse.
Silva seeks refuge in the municipal library she’s loved since she was a child, longing for escape into one of her favourite stories. And it’s there, finally, that her childhood wish for her own magic adventure comes true. A magpie, hopping and fluttering as if it wants her to follow it. A mysterious door that only she can see. Another library, full of enchanted books which allow her to step into other people’s lives. Surely there’s a reason why the magical library chose her, now. Surely one of these books must contain the key to saving her grandfather.
It takes longer than it should for Silva to realize that there’s something sinister about the magpie’s library. Every time she visits, she leaves feeling a little more broken, a little more disoriented, a
little less…herself. Silva must solve the mysteries of the library and its avian host in order to save her family—and she must do it before the library takes her entirely, turning her into just one more book in the magpie’s collection.