This story is narrated by young Ava whose parents are explorers. We meet them on the day a letter arrives informing her mum and dad they are to undertake a mission: to find a very rare ghost orchid flower. There’s a mad dash to catch the ferry and in their haste Ava’s parents respond to her every comment both then and throughout their travels with ‘Later, Ava, later.’ Single-mindedly they can neither think or speak of anything but that Ghost orchid flower. Ava meanwhile marvels at the natural wonders around her – the glow of the Northern Lights, the moose in the forest, the rustling of bird wings, the starry desert sky with its wealth of tiny flying creatures, the lush rainforest rich in birds and animals, the amazing flamingos and the enormous whale that swims beneath their boat.
After an exhaustive search, just when it seems her parents have failed in their mission, Ava looks upwards into the verdant canopy and there is something very special … It’s something I suspect readers will be as excited about as the characters Fiona Lumbers portrays in this scene.
There’s a touch of the Not Now Bernard mentality in the tunnel vision approach of Ava’s parents, though happily they make a decision about slowing down, enjoying the moment and looking through wider lenses on future expeditions.