Sunday, 4 July 2010


Genre: Fiction

Published by: Canongate Books (May 2010)

Pages: 327 (Paperback)

My Rating: 9/10


About the Book:

Gwenni Morgan is not like any other girl in this small Welsh town. Inquisitive, bookish and full of spirit, she can fly in her sleep and loves playing detective. So when a neighbour mysteriously vanishes, and no one seems to be asking the right questions, Gwenni decides to conduct her own investigation. She records everything she sees and hears: but are her deductions correct? What is the real truth? And what will be the consequences of finding out, for Gwenni, her family and her community?

My Thoughts:

First Lines:

I fly in my sleep every night. When I was little I could fly without being asleep; now I can't, even though I practise and practise.

Seen through the eyes of 12 year old Gwenni who lives with her mum, dad and older sister Bethan, in a small Welsh village in the 1950's, this is a lovely, quirky story, featuring characters such as Jones the Butcher, Edwards the Bank and Mrs Owen the Milk, a village where everyone knows everyone else's business and is full of secrets.

Gwenni wants to be a detective like her fictional hero, Albert Campion, and when one of her neighbours, Mr Evans, goes missing she decides that she will try and find him by looking at the clues and talking to Mr Sergeant Jones the policeman............but she finds more than she bargained for while learning a lot about her own family secrets and growing up.

This is a delightfully told and very descriptive story full of vivid and rich characters and sometimes I felt as if I was eavesdropping on private conversations, as if I was actually there in the room.

Gwenni was so sweet and innocent and serious and I very quickly warmed to her, she was always observing other people and is obsessed with being watched by inanimate objects such as her poster of Buddy Holly on her bedroom wall and the toby jugs on the living-room shelf

.........the mantelpiece's clock's tick-tock is loud. I look up at the clock and see the Toby jugs almost falling off their shelf as they strain to watch and listen. They're straining so hard their faces are crimson.

It's a wonderful, funny, easy read and I loved it!

This is Mari Strachan's debut novel and her website can be found here

I thought it was quite similar in some ways to What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn.


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