Readers who embark, with orphans Ben and Lotti plus assorted dogs in ever increasing numbers, on their intrepid journey aboard the narrowboat Sparrowhawk will be rewarded with a perfect adventure story, utterly engaging, exhilarating, and satisfying. Ben and Lotti’s adventures take place in the aftermath of WW1 when the world is sadly trying to return to normal after much loss. The two children have completely different backgrounds and characters, but they have both suffered losses and they soon become firm friends and allies in their search for family and a safe home.
This quest takes them, and their faithful dogs, on a dangerous journey across the Channel in the narrowboat Sparrowhawk, Ben’s home. Ben is in search of his brother Sam, missing in the war, and Lotti seeks a reunion with her French grandmother. They are pursued by a persistent policeman and a wicked uncle but are also aided by assorted friendly, compassionate, and capable adults on both sides of the Channel.
The characters are captivating and memorable, the breath-taking action veers between darkness and joy and tension and humour abound. The tone is light and witty, but the underlying sadness and emotion of a post-war world are subtly conveyed. The virtues of love, friendship, courage, resourcefulness, perseverance, and kindness win the day and the prospect of a happy future for Ben and Lotti and their friends, and dogs, is very satisfying. This is a wonderful book, completely joyous, and is highly recommended as a standalone read for adventure loving readers.