The Story

Alex is angry and miserable.  He has lost his mum, his dad has packed him off to live in Cornwall for a year and his most treasured possession has vanished.  He hates the countryside after the noise and bustle of London and there's the Gnarly Mana in Tapers Wood to worry about.  Can the down to earth love of Aunt Mary, the friendship of a mysterious young girl and a little bit of magic help Alex turn his life around?

My Thoughts

My first thought about this book was what a wonderful title.  Evocative, mysterious and magical. Just like the story turned out to be.

This is Susan’ Russell’s first novel and she is obviously a talented lady because she did the illustrations as well.

The story is set in the 50s and is about starting again. It is a classic plot line and in the spirit of the war time evacuation and boarding school novels the author gets the parents out of the way in order to allow the characters space for adventures.

Mallow Cottage is in the fictional village of Gunwithiel - I come from that part of the world and had to check if it existed it’s such a good name. If it did exist I would go there - it sounds beautiful.

A Jar Full of Angel Feathers is a novel with a great sense of place. There are wonderful descriptions of the area, particularly the woodland - and you are in there, among the squelchy leaves and the grasping branches with Alex

This would be a satisfying story to read out loud or together and the layout and font would make it easy for young readers to follow.

There is something of The Skull in the woods about A Jar Full of Angel Feathers.  I thoroughly enjoyed this magical story in its own right but it could also be a valuable tool in helping children come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

Thank you Sue for sharing your wonderful story with me.