Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Night Mare by Robert Westall
This now out of print book is set in the 1930's in Tyneside, North England, where author Robert Westall grew up, and is about a gang of boys who get up to all types of mischief. They have a vendetta against a vicious old hag called Miss Crimond who lives in their street who is constantly checking on those families who rent her houses and threatening them with eviction. Some of the boys' plots backfire miserably but they have the occasional victory. Billy's family used to be wealthy but now they live in this street and face the same economical woes as their neighbours. It doesn't help that Billy's father has a drinking problem and often squanders what little money they have. Throw in a broken-down old mare who pulls the dunny can collectors' cart, who wins Billy's heart, and you have the making of a very enjoyable read.