If you are looking for a dark, atmospheric family mystery with gothic elements, this is your next read. The star of her occasionally neglectful father's picture books, Romilly mostly raises herself from age six when we meet her, running around their old broken down house and the surrounding areas, barely keeping up with proper cleanliness, and avoiding the "tourists" who seem to believe her father has left directions to a treasure in his books. An unreliable narrator (in a sense, she's a child with a child's eyes and memory) a big old house, and a family mystery... this one hit a lot of buttons for me. I couldn't put it down until I knew all the secrets hiding within this family.
A charming, deeply imaginative debut novel about a young girl who is immortalized in her father's illustrated books containing clues to their family secrets. Romilly Kemp and her eccentric painter father have happy but sheltered lives in a ramshackle mansion in the English countryside. When her father finds fame with a series of children's books starring Romilly as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books will lead them to a precious prize. But as time passes, Romilly's father becomes increasingly suspicious of the outside world until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear within himself. She returns to his illustrations, looking for a way to connect with her ailing father, and finds a series of clues he's left just for her. This treasure hunt doesn't lead her to gold or jewels, but something worth far more--a shocking secret that is crucial to understanding her family. Written with tremendous heart and charisma, The Book of Hidden Wonders is an unforgettable story about growing up, facing mortality and discovering the hidden wonders that make us who we are.