I’m thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the Our Castle By The Sea Blog Tour.
England is at war. Growing up in a lighthouse, Pet’s world has been one of storms, secret tunnels and stories about sea monsters.
But now the clifftops are a terrifying battleground, and her family is torn apart. This is the story of a girl who is small, afraid and unnoticed. A girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overhead. A girl who is somehow destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone …
Petra Zimmerman Smith is a small, unassuming, frightened girl as World War 2 breaks out, and threatens her close knit family from day one. Her kind, gentle Mutti is German, and people who were friends before the war now view the family with suspicion and fear, something fierce and determined big sister Magda will not stand for. As the lighthouse keeper, her Pa is exempt from service with a direct line to the Admiralty as the war marches ever closer – close enough for the booms to be heard across the Channel.
When her Mutti is interned for being an enemy alien, Pet feels the tears rip through her family bonds, separating her from her sister and pushing her closer to the Daughters Of Stone, and suspicion becomes her shadow as she seeks the truth behind the accusations made at the trial.
Lucy intertwines the realities of life on the home front with sinister myth and malicious mystery to create a spellbinding story that resonates as deeply within the reader as the Daughters Of Stone do within Pet.
The love between the family shines from the pages, with each member brought to life with fully rounded characters and a supporting cast, each with their own unique voice. Lucy’s writing evokes immersive imagery of the Kent coastline’s rich landscape, and reminds us how close World War 2’s frontline was to our southern shore.
Prejudice, fear and hatred run throughout the story as neighbours turn on neighbours purely based on their country of birth. With much to compare with the world we live in now, these are deftly handled for younger readers, and are sure to provoke thoughtful discussions.
Like what you’ve read? Why not head over to Chicken House Books and read an extract from this stunning story.
About Lucy Strange…
Lucy Strange worked as an actor, singer and storyteller before becoming a secondary school English teacher. She lives in the Kent countryside with her partner James, their baby boy and a tortoiseshell cat known as the Moo. Our Castle by the Sea is Lucy’s second novel for Chicken House, following her critically acclaimed debut, The Secret of Nightingale Wood. You can connect with Lucy on Twitter @thelucystrange and on Facebook at @theLucyStrange.
Our Castle By The Sea by Lucy Strange · Published by Chicken House · 3rd January 2019 · Paperback · £6.99 · 9+ year olds
Huge thanks to Laura and Chicken House for sending me a review copy. Look out for an After School Book Club blog takeover coming soon with An Interview With Lucy Strange, and do make sure you check out all of the stops on the #OurCastleByTheSea blog tour.