The Secret Starling


When Uncle disappears from Braithwaite Manor it seems Clara’s future is in tatters. This ramshackle setting and disinterested guardian are all the home she has ever known. Now Clara is left to her own devices.

Clara determines to fend for herself. After all she has £200.00 and instructions on how to boil potatoes and eggs. What more does she need?

Shortly, she’s visited by a boy, sent from London. Then Amelia-Ann arrives on her pony Dapple. There’s a ‘For Sale’ board outside Braithwaite Manor, but isn’t this Clara’s home, left to her by her uncle and the mother she never knew?

What is Clara’s story? Who is the boy? What stories can Amelia- Ann reveal from the village? How does a red ribbon connect them? Who is ‘The Secret Starling‘?

Judith Eagle’s début adventure story is really engaging. We race with Clara from Sardines to Leeds, spying to poison soup mix. Her resilience and determination are endearing. ‘The Secret Starling’ is a pacy and enjoyable read.

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The Secret Starling

Judith Eagle

(Faber & Faber)

Clara lives a remote life in Braithwaite Manor with her Uncle. Only his rare absences offer her a glimpse of happy respite. When he unexpectedly abandons her, she determines to survive. Initiative, Cook’s tips with potatoes and £200.00 should see her right. Yet the arrival of a strange boy, the possibility of friends, and a For Sale sign upend Clara’s understanding. Could she be about to discover her origins? Who is The Secret Starling? Then again, how might he relate to Clara? Furthermore, is she really able to cope with everything she’s ever known being destroyed and potentially taken away from her? Does she have anything- really- with which to fight back? A cat? That strange boy? Then the guilt money that she’s been left by a lying uncle?
Judith Eagle is able to create gripping adventure mysteries that bring their settings to life. Furthermore, her characters are feisty, real and determined. We enjoy these traits in Clara, as we appreciate them in Nell of The Pear Affair . This later story reminds us of the pace and action that this writer brings to her highly readable stories. Thereafter, The Secret Starling is a strong and fascinating story that Bookwagon recommends its readers.


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