Independent Press Award
2024 Distinguished Favorite
Winkle and Aster
Periwinkle and Aster Dalisay are lost to a world in peril.
The pathway out is to survive among lurking spirits bound in folklore, myth, and magic.
Fourteen-year-old Periwinkle Dalisay is the youngest sophomore in the third highest performing high school in her state. Being moderately exceptional while attending classes with the other students feels joyless, but she is more interested in learning the joys of painting than trying to fit in.
When she returns home, Periwinkle is caught in a fire along with her precocious sister, Aster, and neither is sure that they survived. Amidst their confusion, the two sisters embark on a journey in a black and white world where monsters search for rebirth and immortality. They hear the calls from an Abyssal Vine and its promised gift of rebirth which might offer a way home.
The girls struggle to compete with the monsters as they try to find the Vine first. Hopefully the Filipino water spirit that Periwinkle thinks lives inside of her could conjure some hope as they try to survive.