In the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, author Lucy Strange explores the harrowing history of England at the start of World War II through the eyes of a young, fearful girl.
Eleven-year-old Pet has grown up on the southeast coast of England with her mother, father and older sister, Mags. Her tight-knit family tends to their village’s lighthouse and has always led a quiet, happy life. But as the 1940s begin and the war moves ever closer, Pet’s beloved cliff tops turn from an idyllic place for a child to roam and play to a battleground of barbed wire and a target for bombings. As the war rages, everyone in her family seems to have a secret to hide, which strains their bonds when they need connection the most. Pet, a girl prone to freezing up in times of fear, will have to learn to be braver than she’s ever been if she hopes to untangle the mysteries shrouding her family.
Set during one of the most momentous periods of world history, Our Castle by the Sea is a powerful novel, and the steady pace of the narrative will keep readers engrossed. Strange’s incorporation of coastal English folklore and legend adds a layer of depth to both the narrative and characters, making for a rich and immersive reading experience. At the heart of the story is Strange’s heroine, however unlikely, as well as her journey of growth and change during a time that absolutely necessitated it.