After Romilly’s mother’s death of a strange fever years ago, neighbors and family fled her village. Bereft, her father becomes increasingly withdrawn, revealing little of their family history that Romilly longs to understand. When her beloved uncle mysteriously disappears from his boat on a cloudless night at sea, she senses her father’s growing terror—a terror she shares when she spies an enormous Being opening a sail-shaped flap of sky over their wheatfield. Romilly suspects these inexplicable events are connected, but how? With the help of unlikely allies—the healer Arra, Robbie the boisterous crow, and the kestrel Mira—Romilly must convince her father to dismantle the wall to his greatest secret, and that of the Being that exists in the world beyond.
Praise for The Collagist
“The Collagist takes us to a timeless place of sea, sky and all the natural beauty in between. Karen Holmberg’s poetic prose deftly navigates the blurry line between reality and the supernatural. Themes of forgiveness and self-discovery resonate, and Romilly’s journey to claim her true self is all our journeys.”
—Betty Culley, author of Three Things I Know Are True and The Name She Gave Me
"Had I encountered this book when I was a young, insatiable reader, I’m certain it would have been one of my favorites, but even now I find myself hopelessly in love with its indelible imagery and delectable characters. Holmberg’s alchemy of words invites you to get lost in this story and never want to leave. 'There are many Beyonds,' indeed, and you will not forget The Collagist or its meaningful mysteries."
—Diane Wald, author of My Famous Brain and The Bayrose Files
"The Collagist is a poignant and lyrical story that artfully weaves the intricate path between trauma and healing, illuminating the power of forgiveness with a touch of magic. Romilly's deepest longing is to bridge the chasm that separates her from her grief-stricken father, a chasm that emerged in the wake of her mother's passing. However, when her uncle mysteriously vanishes, and the sky splits open to reveal a being from the Beyond, Romilly embarks on a quest to unearth the hidden truths within her world. With intricate metaphors, whimsical magic, and a cast of empathetic characters, author Karen Holmberg deftly guides us through the universally resonant journey of trauma and secrets and the far-reaching anguish that death and loss can inflict upon a family. Above all, Holmberg illuminates the redemptive alchemy of forgiveness, honesty, and love required to mend our deepest hurts."