Waterslain Angels

I was always going to love this book. Written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, whose Arthur series I both loved and deeply admired -- check. Set in the marshes of Norfolk in the 1950's, the same setting as one of my favourite childhood novels, When Marnie Was There -- check. (Okay, Marnie was set in the sixties, but pretty damn close!) Gentle, mystical children's fiction about lost angels and the power of unexpected friendship -- tick, tick, tick.

Ten year old Annie joins forces with newcomer Sandy in a hunt for the carved wooden angels which once adorned the roof of the village church, racing against time in case unscrupulous Alan Leppard finds them first. The children discover many angels along the way, in language, flowers and dreams, and face real dangers before they find what they're seeking.

Just a lovely, lovely book. Old fashioned in the best possible way, thoughtful, poetic, slow-moving despite the odd thrilling episode, atmospheric. This won't appeal to everyone -- my friend Heather will loathe it -- but it might have been written just for me. Thank you, Kevin Crossley-Holland!

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