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On the front of BfK this month is the cover of On Christmas Eve by Peter Collington - see his accompanying piece in this issue. The book was published by Heinemann (the paperback version is now available) and the animated film will be shown on TV at Christmas - all details are given at the foot of Peter Collington's delightful double-page spread. We thank Heinemann for their help in using this illustration.
Unusually, Robert Westall uses the viewpoint of a mature woman for this chilling story of rural prejudice and persecution. Rose, to escape from her yuppie, Richmond life and her smug husband, rents Sepp Yaxley's abandoned Norfolk cottage with her two children. A ferocious cat, and bizarre items found in cupboards, reveal Yaxley's reputation as a 'Cunning Man', and why he disappeared; but the newcomers' presence arouses local hostility to the point where their own lives are at risk. By the end the threatening violence is controlled, but Rose feels just as dismayed by the methodical ruthlessness of her teenage son. Utterly gripping.