The Marlows and the Traitor


I discover to my (slightly horrified) amazement that this is the FOURTH time I have recorded reading Antonia Forest's The Marlows and the Traitor on this blog. I was prompted to revisit it by a most excellent read-through by Ann Phillips on the Antonia Forest Facebook group -- and I found enough extra material to add my own random thoughts to the discussion.

This time I was particularly struck by the moral ambiguity of Forest's universe. The 'villain' is kind and charming, but also brutal, cold and self-serving. His counterpart, the adult helper/'hero,' is definitely on the side of good, but nonetheless steals a boat, threatens a minor with a knife, is prepared to risk the death of a colleague from appendicitis, and tells numerous lies. No wonder the children at the heart of the story struggle with their own choices as well as battling their personal fears.

Anyway, I won't bang on about this book again. Gee, it is a terrific read though!

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