Book Review— ‘Strong Winds Trilogy’
By Julia Jones. Published by Golden Duck
‘The Salt-Stained Book’ – ISBN 978-1-899262-04-5
‘A Ravelled Flag’ – ISBN 978-1-899262-05-2
‘Ghosting Home’ – ISBN 978-1-899262-06-9
These three novels for young people, which are also thoroughly enjoyed by adults, have been described as ‘Arthur Ransome for the 21st century’ but these books are much more than an imitation of Ransome’s work. The story, about one boy’s family legacy and his struggles against the odds (and Social Services) to claim it with the help of his friends, is told over the duration of the three volumes, each more exciting than the last as the story builds. On the way it is a ripping yarn about sailing the East coast waters so familiar to both Ransome and Maurice Griffiths, based around Harwich and Pin Mill.
The content is far deeper and darker than anything of Ransome’s, with the possible exception perhaps of ‘Missie Lee’, to which the writer, Julia Jones, makes more than a passing nod of the head. Any fan of Ransome and Griffiths cannot fail to find this trilogy an exciting read and Jones is to be heartily congratulated. We cannot recommend these books highly enough.
It may also interest our members to know that when Julia Jones was a child her parents owned Arthur Ransome’s yacht ‘Peter Duck’. It was eventually sold but Julia and her partner have since bought it again and it is now moored on the river Deben, near Woodbridge.
The books have been delightfully illustrated by Claudia Myatt, who also designed the covers. Many of our members will be very familiar with Claudia’s work, particularly for her RYA children’s books, and her work for the Arthur Ransome Society and the Nancy Blackett Trust, as well as her individual works of art. For more about Claudia Myatt see her website at www.claudiamyatt.co.uk.
You can find out more about Julia Jones at http://electricauthors.jimdo.com/authors/julia-jonesand at www.golden-duck.co.uk. The books are also available as e-books to download from Amazon. The RRP for the paperback versions is £7.99 ea (Amazon may be cheaper) and the e-books for Kindle at the more modest £4.28 ea.