It was with delight that I stumbled upon The Wolf in the Attic on a Goodreads list. I read it in a day.
Paul Kearney’s eloquent, yet conversational, prose captured and held my interest from the first paragraph. Told from the perspective of eleven-year-old Anna, the story unfolds at a skillfully tantalizing pace. Pieces of Anna’s past were doled out in a natural telling, stoking my curiosity that kept the pages turning.
Rescued from the burning quays of Smyrna during the Greco-Turkish War in 1922, five-year-old Anna and her Father began a new life as refugees in Oxford, England. But for them both, a new life did not come easily. Anna’s father insisted upon Anglicizing her by altering her name and providing an English education while he remained connected to the older Greek community, seeking reparations for what they had lost.
Mourning the loss of her mother, home and way of life, Anna’s only friend and confidant was her doll, Penelope. Discouraged from playing with the local children that her teacher considered guttersnipes, Anna began to wandering far afield. One night, she saw more than a child should witness.
Just when I was comfortably ensconced in the novel, it took a bizarre turn. Bizarre if the reader, such as I, did not realize Paul Kearney was a writer of fantasy.
The writer grounded Anna in point in history unfamiliar to me and even if the book had not taken a fantastical twist, I would have enjoyed the rest of Anna’s tale. But, twist it did and though The Wolf in the Attic took off in a direction I never expected, it did so without jolt or jar. Paul Kearney craftily introduced Anna to characters of folklore reminiscent of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series and we were off and running.
In researching the author, I discovered I came late to the party as Paul Kearney is the well-established author of many books of fantasy. I am glad I stumbled across one that was a mixture of my favorite genre, historical fiction, and fantasy. I also learned The Wolf in the Attic is not the end of Anna’s story. Its sequel, The Burning Horse, is scheduled for release in 2019.
Don’t expect this to happen too often, but The Wolf in the Attic swept me away. Therefore, I award it a coveted 5 out of 5 duckies.
I purchased the Kindle version of The Wolf in the Attic from Amazon for 99 cents plus tax.
The Wolf in the Attic
By Paul Kearney
First Published 2016 by Solaris, an imprint of Rebellion Publishing Ltd