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  • By Julian Lovelock
    May 9, 2017
    Admirers of Arthur Ransome will find many echoes in The Boat in the Bay of the Swallows and Amazons novels: this is about the adventures that children have when distanced from the adult world (here by flood, and impassable roads, and cut-off telephones). There's a Lake and two dinghies; a lively 'native' girl (though not quite a pirate)who plans things; a responsible sea-faring boy; a 'Susan' figure who is the domestic one, but who here is the hero of the story as well; and two younger children who are, respectively, imaginative and insatiably hungry. Add in a father who is a sea captain, an uncle who lives on 'the boat in the bay', and a cook, and you get the idea. But this is nevertheless a book that stands by itself altogether and has its own considerable strengths. The characters are entirely believable (and likable)and the pace builds steadily to a riveting climax. The prose is clear but full of atmosphere, the dialogue is realistic, and the device of parallel narrative (another... More > Ransome echo) is used to good effect. Today's young readers may wonder about a middle class world of large houses, and servants, and telephones where you dial the operator. They will know that this is about life long ago (1929) and that today a mobile phone would make the whole adventure impossible. But they will, I think, also lament a freedom that they can never have. For the young and young at heart, it's certainly worth suspending disbelief and enjoying the non-stop action. The Boat in the Bay is the first of Alan Kennedy's trilogy involving his cast of appealing characters and I thoroughly recommend it. I'm more than keen to settle down with the second novel in the sequence, The Broken Bell.< Less
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Product Details

Lasserrade Press
January 15, 2017
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.86 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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