Review: When Secrets Set Sail


Book Title: When Secrets Set Sail (available here)

Author: Sita Brahmachari

Illustrator: Evan Hollingdale

Publisher: Orion

Publication Date: August 2020

Reviewer: Tami Wylie


I haven’t read a book that has stuck with me the way this one did, in a long time. When Secrets Set Sail is the story of Usha and Imtiyaz, to young girls who find themselves forced together when Usha’s family adopts Imtiyaz. They are forced to make a new family at the time when Usha’s grandmother has just died and Imtiyaz’s foster mother is leaving to start a new life. Also, the house where they live, that also serves as a refugee centre, is under threat of being closed down.


The girls must learn to trust each other and become true sisters in order to save their home and the spirits of Usha’s grandmother and the legacy of the family. With the help of some ghosts from the past, family history and new friends, can the girls work together to make everything ok?

This book is a fascinating look at the beliefs about spirits who look after you and guide you when they are needed. The story also emphasises the importance of both local and family history and what it means to build new relationships well. Have the tissues at the ready when reading this one!

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You can order When Secrets Set Sail online or from an independent bookshop.


Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.



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