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Review of Inglestone Manor by S.S Saywack

Review of Inglestone Manor by S.S Saywack

This is the most charming, beautifully written, and engaging fictional story I’ve read this year. It is, without doubt, a recommended read.

Set in 1940s wartime rural Yorkshire, it is the tale of three children evacuated to the cold and inhospitable Yorkshire moors in the middle of winter. Anybody that’s visited will know how bleak that can be. They live in the lodge of the formerly resplendent Inglestone Manor—now a neglected ruin. We have the age of steam, and the emotions and trauma of three young children riven from their family. It’s a story that is poignant, gentle harsh and brutal. The sense of wartime England comes across with perfection, and the language, style and intelligent writing pull it together like a dream. The story is written in dialect, which adds to the charm.

While this book is equally suitable for young people or adults, the author pulls no punches. It’s a brutal world, and we meet some thoroughly villainous people to come to terms with.

The author is accomplished and established, which means he knows how to tell a gripping and wonderfully descriptive story. His time and setting placement are beyond compare, and his people are delightful.

I like that it fits snugly into a cross-age market. It’s perfect for a child of ten but grown-up enough to work on the adult ghost shelf. This book really is a joy to read.

The characterisation is excellent. I loved the people and the way they worked perfectly together. Miss Inglestone and Susan are my favourites, but the kids are great, and I love that May (Munch) has a catchphrase, see how early you can spot it

You can’t help but like the kids, and they balance well with the older characters. As for Miss Inglestone, what a sweetheart.

The story is captivating, and it’s bang on point for the genre. It screamed Enid Blyton meets Boris Karloff, but both are captured, held in time and sing from the page. It’s delightful.

The pace is good, and the pages flip along at a clip.

The story is structured well, and the description brings the characters to life.

Published books by this author.

Mary Finch and the Thief

Mary Finch and the Grey Lady

Mary Finch and the Spy

Mary Finch Endgame

Mary Finch Runaway (a prologue)

A recommended read (will be available soon) and undoubtedly a contender for the BBE Book Awards.


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