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  • By Stephen Beesley
    Mar 25, 2013
    Jim Spellman, a resident of the bustling village of Shannon-by-the-sea, takes his customary coffee at the village shop. Another customer, a stranger, drops a booklet as she leaves. Jim picks up the booklet and starts to read: “The last inhabitant of Shannon-by-the-sea left this idyllic village when the Government requisitioned it following the outbreak of war… Today it stands derelict, its church roofless, its occupants gone.” ‘Jim stopped reading, chilled. Was this Science Fiction? What war? There had been no war, not in his lifetime anyway’. He chases after the woman and sees her walk into an alley. When he reaches the alley she is nowhere to be seen. And so we are off, launched into the mystery of the village. We join a small, well-drawn group of characters who discover that the nature of the village, and of reality itself, is much stranger than they could have imagined. They also find, after two suspicious deaths, that the mystery threatens the survival of their village and their... More > world. So is it science fiction? No, the mystery is based on scientific theory with a healthy dose of mysticism but the book is a fantasy, but one without sorcerers, spells or pitched battles. That is not to say that the characters are ordinary; an oddball village deserves oddball inhabitants, among them an ancient lady who swims with seals, a mind-reading coffee-shop owner and nineteen-year-old Madelaine whose naked sunbathing leads her into conversation with an angel. The story has considerable charm; despite its contemporary setting, the village is a cosy community that Miss Marple might have felt at home in. The writing is fresh, fascinating and, best of all, totally unpredictable; along the way you’ll get a new insight on guardian angels and even Father Christmas, but be warned, this is not a book for children. I could argue that the fate of one character logically contradicts some of the plot, but I could be wrong; it seems this is allegorical, but that’s over the head of an old heathen like me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend you to give it a try. I can’t argue with the author’s disclaimer on the final page, “There is no such place as Shannon-by-the-sea. Unfortunately.” Oh, and there’s great news for real football supporters – Manchester doesn’t exist! I hope there’s a sequel. Steve Beesley< Less
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Product Details

August 7, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.06 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
Product ID
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