Tuesday, 26 July 2011



 It is a wild and stormy night when five British school children from Mordanger School arrive ahead of their classmates for a week-long field trip at "haunted' Old Harwick Hall. With the aid of flashes of lightning, Claudia, Pixie, Robbo, Ralph and Colin find a long-abandoned secret room containing a mysterious journal. On the cover, it reads, 'Richard Clayton Harwick - My Story. Read and Weep'. From the journal, the children uncover the story of a boy who runs away from the sinister influence of a loveless stepfather. Richar Clayton Harwick's long-hidden journal provides an inner tale that triggers off, one by one, each of the stories of the listening children, aall of whom also have "steps", or step-parents, to share their own sagas. And what engrossing, heart-rending  stories they are: of hurting but still humorous children picking their way through a minefield of embittered or uncommunicative or just plain immature parents, insecure or reluctant step parents and resentful step siblings. However, the lack of a principal plot is of no consequence as the novel main purpose is to serve as a forum for the various stories. 

This novel proves that all pain eventually heals and that we have the power to change things for the better.

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