The Secret Starling

From the very offset of this book it is evident that main character Clara is a strong, determined, self sufficient girl that has survived her life so far with no close interaction from family and only finding companionship in the servants that work within the large manor house that Clara and her Uncle call home.

With a distinct nod to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden this is an outstanding debut that sees Clara living under the strict routine set by her Uncle within a large and ultimately lonely house by the Moors longing for interaction and adventures with others.

That all changes when out of the blue Clara finds herself hurriedly abandoned by her Uncle, left with some money and dropped off in the nearby village. Strong willed Clara decides she is more then capable of looking after herself and heads back to the Manor.

Arriving back, Clara finds a visitor waiting, her cousin Peter. Together the pair agree to see through Claras plan to stay at the house and set about ensuring they are undisturbed, and when they make friends with other local children the fun and games really begin -there is even a horse that joins them inside the house!

Adventure turns to Mystery when they come across an old ballet slipper and allow their curiosity to encourage them to explore more. With an echo of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes the content of The Secret Starling is deeply immersive, exciting and compelling to read, taking the reader alongside Clara and Peter on an emotional and dangerous journey to uncover the truth.

The perfect book for young readers that enjoy adventures and mysteries, and especially those that frequent ‘classic’ titles such as Sherlock Holmes, Enid Blyton and The Wizard of Oz that are looking for a modern day title to add to the collection, this book will not disappoint.

Published by – Faber and Faber Publication date – 02.05.19 RRP – £6.99

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