THE WOLF IN THE ATTIC
Refugees and werewolves
released 5 May 320 pages | Paperback Author Paul Kearney Publisher Solaris
This is a curiously oldfashioned children’s fantasy, and not because of its historical setting. It’s the sort of book in which our heroine learns key plot elements by eavesdropping on adults discussing their ( nefarious) plans for her, not once but three times; the sort of book in which more “folksy” characters are distinguished from the posh and educated by the fact that they say “bain’t” and “’ ee” a lot.
The Wolf In The Attic concerns 11- year- old Greek refugee Anna, who lives in a ramshackle house in ’ 20s Oxford, with an alcoholic father driven to drink by the pressures of making a new life and his memories of what they’ve fled. Wandering Port Meadow with only her doll, Pie, for company, Anna meets a group of Roma people, and discovers that there are strange creatures lurking in the shadows of the woods; back in the city, she’s outside the Eagle & Child pub at just the right time to bump into JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and chat about religion.
Unfortunately, these various elements don’t sit well together, as if the book can’t quite decide which story it wants to tell. Lots of potential, but uneven and under- developed in execution.
Paul Kearney served in TA regiment the Royal Irish Rangers; out of 120 men he was one of only two Catholics.