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The House Called Hadlows by Victoria Walker
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The House Called Hadlows (1972)

by Victoria Walker

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About 25 years ago as an 11 year old - I was set loose in British bookstore and given a few pounds to spend how I liked on some books to get me through my family's 3 week trip abroad. One of the books I picked up was Victoria Walker's The Winter of Enchantment. This became my most beloved childhood book. I carried it everywhere with me. I kept it in my locker at school, it came with me away to high school and college, whenever I moved it always found its way into one of the boxes. My copy is tattered and worn. I gradually became terrified that my book would would fall apart and become unreadable before I ever got a chance to share it with my children.

When I found out Fidra books was reprinting it a few years ago I was ecstatic. I ordered a mess of copies. Enough for nieces, nephews and copies for my own children.

What surprised me most though was that - at the same time - they also reprinted another novel by Victoria Walker - A House Called Hadlows. Imagine my shock and delight when I received my copy and saw that it was a sequel to my much beloved The Winter of Enchantment.

This book sat on my bedside table for over a year. I honestly was so floored I didn't know how to react when I saw that it was a sequel - it was almost too precious to read. I picked it up many times always putting it back down - not quite ready to find out what happened to my life long friends Sebastian and Melissa.

Well - I finally read it through - and it was pretty good. I really wish that I had acquired it in my youth - as an adult, I think I am way more aware of shortcomings than I could ever have been in my younger days. The story has a very similar framework to The Winter of Enchantment. There is a quest, there are elements to acquire - adventures are had with mythic figures.

Although reading this didn't give me the same thrill that The Winter of Enchantment gave me - it was comforting to know there was a next chapter - so to speak - for Sebastian and Melissa.

I am looking forward to the day I can share both of these books with my children. I will be so curious to see how they react to The House Called Hadlows and whether or not my age has really gotten in the way here.

In any case - I love these characters - Sebastian, Melissa and probably most of all Mantari -- they will always have a little piece of my heart and my imagination.

I am looking forward to the day I can share both of these books with my children. I will be so curious to see how they react to The House Called Hadlows and whether or not my age has really gotten in the way here.

In any case - I love these characters - Sebastian, Melissa and probably most of all Mantari -- they will always have a little piece of my heart and my imagination. ( )
  alanna1122 | Sep 27, 2009 |
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Sebastian and Melissa would never forget their arrival at the house called Hadlows. The long drive through the neglected park and woodland, the lake glimpsed through the trees, the massive house, with its 'thousand windows' looking down on them, the half-open front door and the great hall, empty but for the pale-faced portraits covering the walls. Hadlows held a secret, of that they were sure, in spite of the warm welcome they were given by Uncle Bertram and Aunt Augusta.
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