Monthly Archives: September 2006

Roar Bull Roar

Andrew Fusek Peters & Polly Peters

Frances Lincoln

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Aug 2006

‘history is full of tales, and sometimes it takes bravery and pluck to uncover them.’

Bravery and pluck are the lifeblood that abound and flow so thoroughly through Czech siblings Jan and Marie Klesek who, following their father Frantisek, a maths teacher who has got a new job in England, move to a small village. Their arrival in the middle of the night is met by a welcome that is quite literally divest of any warmth and hospitality, a bull charges down the side of the car and the cottage in which they are staying ‘ the curiously named ‘Shoe Cottage’ ‘ is cold, damp and in a state of near dereliction.
Bob Thomson the families new landlord is a seemingly uncaring and miserly individual who has a great nephew, Ross, and a great niece, Kerry, who both become the bane of the Klesek children’s life, taunting, teasing and being malicious to them both. On one such occasion the children take flight and come across a barn where they take shelter from a sudden storm. Lady Beddoes lives in the barn and the two children quickly befriend her.
Marie encounters prejudice and xenophobia in the guise of her new friend, Ashleigh’s mother, Carol Jillson who has a decidedly narrow outlook and small-town mentality when it comes to accepting newcomers, let alone ‘foreigners’.
What Jan and Marie find hidden in a shoe in the chimney of their cottage and that landlord, Bob Thompson, is desperate to gain possession of and thereby conceal, leads to a revelation and through a series of plot twists and turns lead to Lady Beddoe ascending to her rightful position within the village thereby setting about making things right once more! This is a real romp of a read, Jan and Marie make for particularly endearing protagonists whom it is difficult not to feel a joint affinity and affection towards’

Stray

David Belbin

Barrington Stoke

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Jun 2006

‘You mean Stacey? You don’t forget a face like hers. She could have been a model if she’d played her cards right. But Stacey was a mess. She always chose the wrong guys.’

The lack of parental control, discipline and most importantly care in Stacey’s life coerces her into the ever-tightening enclaves of Simone’s gang. Amidst her quest for acceptance, Stacey is assimilated into systems of ethics distinct from her own, a choice that leads her, albeit unwittingly, to diminish her life-chances.
Increasingly unable to play to her own strengths, Stacey’s behaviour becomes ever more extreme, documented in the first-person and with strength of emotion and moral resolve by Kev, who is seduced by Stacey’s physical appearance.
Lacking in similar resolve, Stacey who already has an ASBO is fed drugs by her boyfriend whose combined intimidation together with the peer pressure of Simone’s gang sees Stacey spiral from stealing cans of lagers to taking part in a large scale jewellery theft. This is a well executed cautionary tale told through explorations of the types of people we can all too easily become when circumstances and our circle of friends conspire against us.