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An Episode of Sparrows

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781844088515

Price: £9.99

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By the author of Black Narcissus and The River


‘A masterpiece of construction and utterly realistically convincing’ JACQUELINE WILSON

‘Author Godden here tries her deft writing hand at landscaping a child’s heart’ TIME

‘It is a sentimental tale, well told, with an unlikely and entirely satisfactory ending’ NEW YORKER

Someone has been digging up the private garden in the Square. Miss Angela Chesney of the Garden Committee is sure that a gang of local boys is to blame, but her sister, Olivia, isn’t so sure. She wonders why the neighbourhood children – ‘sparrows’ she calls them – have to be locked out: don’t they have a right to enjoy the garden too?

Nobody has any idea what sends Lovejoy Mason and her few friends in search of ‘good garden earth’. Still less do they imagine where their investigation will lead them – to a struggling restaurant, a bombed-out church, and, at the heart of it all, a hidden garden.

‘Only Rumer Godden could make a simple tale of a forbidden garden pulse with suspense’ NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE BOOK REVIEW

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It has a dizzying cast of characters, radiating out from the inhabitants of a once-genteel London residential square to the residents of the teeming commercial streets beyond
Horn Book
May well prove the book of the year for those who are not ashamed to weep over the printed page . . . author Godden here tries her deft writing hand at landscaping a child's heart
Extraordinarily gifted writer who manages to infuse her novels with a special magic of their own
Boston Herald
It would be impossible for a reader not to feel better from reading the story . . . her rich understanding of human nature, her humor and her beautiful prose inevitably leave one aglow
Chicago Tribune
A gentle, poignant story, poetically conceived with a fairy godmother ending. Recommended for all
Library Journal
It is a sentimental tale, well told, with an unlikely and entirely satisfactory ending
New Yorker
It's a masterpiece of construction and utterly, realistically convincing - though it has a fairytale element too. Rumer Godden's books are admired for many qualities . . . but I think her greatest strength is her accurate, unsentimental portrayal of children. Lovejoy, Tip and Sparkey were so real to me that they have stayed alive in my head for more than fifty years . . . An Episode of Sparrows was the first book that made me cry when I was ten. I cried all over again at this recent reading of the story - and I closed the book with the same sense of total satisfaction
Jacqueline Wilson, New Spectator