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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 7 Winter 2008

Looking for angels

Waterslain angels

Waterslain angels
by Kevin Crossley-Holland

published Orion, October 2008 9.99

It was a treat to host an event with childrens writer Kevin Crossley-Holland in St Marys Church last month. It was part of the first Woodbridge Childrens Book Festival and proved an entirely appropriate setting for the author to tell everyone about his new book, which centres around a church in East Anglia.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is well known as a storyteller. He has won numerous awards for his historical tales for children with a trilogy about Arthur, a translation of Beowulf, and the retelling of myths and legends.

His new book, called Waterslain Angels, is set in the recent past, in the village of Waterslain, Norfolk in the 1950s. Two children, Annie and Sandy, have been told that wooden angels once supported the church roof, but had been destroyed centuries earlier. When the children discover fragments from a carved angels wing, they decide to search for more.

Preoccupied by this goal, Annie dreams of the angels and the man who was sent by Cromwell to destroy the church, while Sandy gains comfort from the thought of the angels because his father had recently died. But as the children spot more clues to the whereabouts of these relics, their quest becomes more dangerous. There are other people hunting for the carved angels, and they are determined to stop the children at all costs.

This is a beautifully told story, which leaves the readers heart beating a little faster with each step the children take to finding the angels. The sense of danger in their adventure, and the haunting atmosphere of the Norfolk salt marshes is vivid and compelling. It is a book which will appeal to parents and grandparents, as much as to the readers of 8-11 years at whom it is aimed.

Signed copies of Waterslain Angels may still be available from Young Browsers bookshop in Woodbridge.