Voyage of the Sparrowhawk


When Nathan seeks Sam after the Great War, Ben hopes that the three of them will soon be reunited aboard the Sparrowhawk, the narrowboat where they’ve formed a family. Yet, Nathan does not return, and Ben is left fending for himself, warding off the enquiries of PC Albert Skinner, who seems intent on returning Ben to the orphanage.

Meanwhile, Lotti is in the harsh care of her Uncle Hubert, subsequent to the accident that cost her parents’ lives. Her family home has become a shell with her parents’ memories erased, while she is a captive within boarding school or the coal cellar.

When Lotti seeks refuge aboard the Sparrowhawk after stealing Malachy Campbell’s chihuahua, little do she and Ben realise they will shortly start the Voyage of the Sparrowhawk.

Can the pair, evade Albert Skinner, Uncle Hubert, and thereafter make their way along the canals, without detection, to France? Is the Sparrowhawk up to this sort of journey? What might they discover? It’s post Great War, and shoot by tiny shoot, people are trying to rebuild their  lives. Yet Ben seeks Sam, while Lotti wants to know why her beloved French grandmother has cut her off. Will the pair make it to their destination? Who else might join their adventure along the way?

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk is a heart-warming, stirring, meaningful adventure story of friendship, family, courage and dogs. Bookwagon loves this title and recommends it highly.


Voyage of the Sparrowhawk

Natasha Farrant

(Faber & Faber)

The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk seems to be an impossible reaction to a desperate situation. However Ben and Lotti (aka Charlie) have no choice. While Lotti is escaping the cruelty of her Uncle Hubert and Aunt Vera, Ben is avoiding stubborn policeman, Albert Skinner. Although he’s certain that Sam is alive somewhere in France, there is no letter from the War Office. Furthermore, Albert Skinner seems to know this, just as he knows that Federico the chihuahua belongs to Malachy Campbell, not Lotti.
However, what Albert Skinner doesn’t know is just how far Lotti and Ben will go to evade the law and cruel relatives and discover the truth for themselves. While Ben seeks to search the place that Nathan saw Sam last, Lotti has hopes and memories of her grandmère Moune in Armande. It seems that since her parents died, all communication has ended. Then again, what of Clara, who has become involved in the errant pair’s break for freedom? How might she be part of a narrow boat escapade? Clara seems to have her own impenetrable sadness. Or is it? Furthermore, there is the crew of the Starling, who’ve some long ago link to the Sparrowhawk.
Can two children possibly sneak a narrowboat to France? How will they avoid detection? Can they manage the weather, the lochs, the lies and two dogs- at least? After the superb The Children of Castle Rock, Natasha Farrant returns with the gripping and wonderful Voyage of the Sparrowhawk. 


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