24/02/2001

The Way to Sattin Shore (by Philippa Pearce)

Although she had been writing for many years, including books published before I was born, I had not come across the late Philippa Pearce until helping in a school classroom in the UK, where her books were popular choices for reading aloud.

'The Way to Sattin Shore' is one I decided to read aloud to my sons when they were 12 and 14, as we'd run out of other books at the time. It's about Kate, a sensitive ten-year-old, who has always been sad that her father died when she was born. She lives with her mother and brother, and her grandmother, in a peaceful home where they're all fairly content.

Then a letter is delivered, which changes all their lives.

The book is seen through Kate's eyes, combining everyday and mundane events with more exciting and mysterious ones, as she tries to work out what happened to her father all those years ago. Towards the end of the book she's trusted with a terrifying secret...

The ends are all tied together neatly at the end of the book, which is satisfying (if a bit predictable). It made a pleasant read-aloud. Recommended.

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