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This issue’s cover illustration by Steve Stone is from Darke by Angie Sage. Thanks to Bloomsbury for their help with this July cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 195 July 2012 .
Briony is convinced that she is a witch and that she caused the death of her beloved stepmother. She lives on the edge of the marsh in the village of Swampsea with her sister Rose and her father, who is the vicar. Briony can see the ‘old ones’ who influence the life of the marsh. Rose is a strangely disconnected person (in 21st century terms probably within the autistic spectrum) although Briony thinks she must be responsible for Rose’s behaviour as well. With the arrival of the young and good looking Eldric, Briony is faced with challenging the ‘truth’ of her life. This is a difficult book to describe. It is set in England, probably at the beginning of the 20th century, yet there is a sense of strangeness which takes it out of time and space. The author has created an almost claustrophobic community which still clings to belief in spirits and our link to the natural world. Briony is someone we learn to empathise with and we want her to escape from the lies told by her stepmother. The narrative grows on the reader as you are absorbed into the lives of the characters. A story that makes you think about how we change the world we live in and the effects on people who live to a different rhythm. Well worth persevering with.