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Catherine Forde
Egmont Children's Books
Feb 2006
Catherine Forde�s novels have the emotional impact of a clenched fist to the stomach. She writes powerful prose that deliver firm blows. Three-year-old Annie is the lynch-pin in Firestarter, not because she contributes directly to the plot, but rather because she epitomises the dependency and innocence of early childhood, thereby setting a direct contrast with unpredictable and dangerous Reece Anderson, the eponymous Firestarter�

Reece is the latest in what we understand to have been a long line of delinquents to dwell with well-meaning Mrs Duff. When at the beginning of the novel he pops his head over the fence to look into his neighbour�s garden, he traverses the safe boundaries and parochial outlooks of �not-in-my-backyard� mentalities�

The fuse for this fiction is lit and it sizzles swiftly! Keith, baby-sitting for younger sister Annie, becomes immediately concerned for her safety. Hee senses that Reece is not malicious but suspicions that he is dangerous are confirmed when he unwittingly sets fire to Annie�s beloved doll, Raggy.

Firestarter is an astutely observed novella whose dramatic conclusion forces readers to match their own attitudes against those of the characters in the book. The chilling and thought-provoking ending leaves a long-lasting soured aftertaste.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on January 26, 2006 9:27 AM.

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