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The Crack Magazine

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The Garden of the Golden Children by Ashley Hutchison

The children of Somewhere attend their prestigious Academy. Somewhere is perfect. The Academy has a garden with golden statues celebrating its best and brightest pupils. They are the pupils who have travelled to Somewhere Else, seeking knowledge that will benefit Somewhere when they return. Except they haven’t returned.

Hutchison's dark, experimental novella follows Ellis in her first year at the Academy. She navigates new feelings and friendships, until the eyes of the Headmaster fall on her. Her story is interwoven with myths and legends from this world, that reveal the truth about the events and people surrounding Ellis.

This literary fantasy reads like a fairytale before Disney got to them. Hutchison’s prose is expressive, creating a mood which is strange and unsettled, and a story which ultimately warns what may stay hidden when a community believes they are part of a utopia.

Kenzie Millar