Our Castle by the Sea

Written by Lucy Strange (author)
Review by Lisa Redmond

Lucy Strange’s second book takes place on the Kent coast during the first months of the Second World War. Petra and her sister Magda live at the Stonegate lighthouse and call the lighthouse their castle. The family has always shared stories of sea monsters and enchantment, and Petra is obsessed with the stone circle, known locally as the Daughters of Stone. However, when war is declared, they face much greater dangers, for Petra and Magda’s beloved Mutti is German. The government has begun to categorise all foreigners living in Britain, and so she must face a tribunal. When a claim is made that her mother has been sending drawings and information to the German army, Petra knows that her mother is not guilty and is determined to uncover the real spy in their midst. This is a fast-paced tale of adventure, war, family and friendship all mixed up with the fables and folk tales of the region. Strange brilliantly evokes the feeling of being a child too young to influence the decisions of grown-ups around you and yet understanding enough to want to be able to fix things that cannot be fixed. The peril, the danger and the grief are all very real and make this a genuinely gripping page-turner for readers aged 9 and upwards.

Perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Michael Morpurgo.