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Crowns by Katharine Hull
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312,001,085 (2.5)2
Recently added bygolux1, Cynfelyn, Sakerfalcon



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Four cousins playing hide and seek at a Christmas party find themselves transported to a storybook kingdom where they are kings and queens. Siblings Rob and Eliza follow fairly conventional routes, he taking on the responsibilities and gravitas of a king, while she prefers more feminine pursuits, eventually discovering talents for nurturing and nursing care. The other children's trajectories are quite extraordinary, the bossy, dominant Charlotte emerging as an intrepid hunter, explorer and wartime leader, while introspective Andrew explores the wilderness as a hermit. When the game ends, the dream ends, forcing the children to return to comfortable and privileged but also stuffy and overprotected lives, having gained a measure of self-knowledge and hope for a future in which each will have the freedom to chart a course in life. The desperation of the two outsiders is well-expressed and the authors do not hold back from describing the dangers and losses experienced by those who would break away from the known path. Disturbing portraits of cannibals, with heavy emphasis on ethnic stereotypes date an otherwise engaging story. ( )
  golux1 | Jun 25, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hull, Katharineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitlock, Pamelamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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'Sing of romantic palaces
In cities set by gilded seas,
Slenderly mimicking in waves
The lace of spires and balconies,
The oriels and the architraves,
- Dreams! dreams! where lead such dreams as these?'
To Arthur Ransome
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At a day school in London the girls had just been let out from their classrooms and were preparing to go home for tea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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“This is about four ordinary, quite nice, quite nasty children. They are cousins and know each other well,
though two live in London and two in the country. They don't catch spies, or find treasure, or camp alone, or
do anything at all extraordinary. They do go to school during the term and come home in the holidays, and
go to bed at night and get up in the morning. Live everyone else they talk a lot, and often imagine impossible
things when they are in the midst of possible ones..... The four cousins meet on Boxing Day when their
Grandmother gives a party. In this world of crackers and balloons and Christmas trees they have to behave
in the normal way with everyone else, but when they are alone they can take each other into the world which
is in their minds and become there crowned kings and queens and do exactly as they like.”

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