Mrs Flannagan's Trumpet ¦ Our John Willie
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Such good yarns and such basic elements of story shared in different plots. The young hero managing without parents, the apparently hard but really kind older lady, villains and treachery. Add to that a strong nineteenth-century and north-east setting and you have the basic fabric. Mrs Flannagan's Trumpet with its storms and smuggling takes a while to pick up pace but Our John Willie is a cracker from the mining disaster of the opening paragraph. Catherine Cookson seems to know so many of the responsive strings of reading and she tells her stories with such verve that it isn't hard to see why she has been, and is, so popular. In these new, bright covers I'm sure these two will be well-read and enjoyed.