Back Cover: What do the four Linnet children do when they are sent to live with Grandmama, a woman who hates dogs and thinks that children should be seen and not heard? They run away, of course! Then their adventures begin. The Linnets meet a bevy of peculiar characters as they journey through the English countryside, charming the gruff but lovable Uncle Ambrose and his jovial gardener, Ezra. When they stumble upon the eccentric Lady Alicia, who seems to have lost her family, the real fun begins, and the Linnets start their search for the missing Valerians. But will the search be thwarted by the witch Emma Cobley and her magic cat?
My Thoughts: The first time I read this book, I was enchanted; the story is exciting, funny, and very engaging. I have read it at least three times since and I love it every time! Something that I love in books, especially fantasy books, is realistic characters; and by that I mean that they are easy to relate to, that they have natural reactions. Of course, books where children run away are always fun, and the adventures they go through are very entertaining. Even their uncle is fun! Definitely recommend this for anyone who likes fantasy set in the real world and children's books.
Excerpt: "Have you any little girls?" she asked, climbing back on her chair
"No," said Lady Alicia.
"Little boys?" asked Betsy.
"A long time ago I had one little boy, called Francis," said Lady Alicia, and her blue eyes were hooded again and once more her hands looked as though she would never be able to lift them from the carved birds.
"Did you lose him?" inquired Betsy with great interest.
"Yes," said Lady Alicia
"Where did you lose him?"
"On Lion Tor," said Lady Alicia in a voice as dry as dust. "Thirty years ago. He was eight years old."
Bad Content: None! I mean, witches and magic may bug some people, but it is a fantasy/fairytale type of book.