The Valley Of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr is a marvellous children’s novel for ages ten and over.
The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of twelve year old Jimmy, who along with his brother six year old Ronnie, is evacuated to a Welsh mining village. The reader witnesses how hard it is to settle when everything has been ripped away from you. It almost feels like a betrayal if you start to feel happy. Jimmy experiences many conflicting emotions as he receives unconditional kindness.
There is a beautiful caring bond between the brothers as Jimmy knows just what Ronnie needs to flourish.
The evacuees from London meet both kindness and hostility from the locals, both young and old. Those who should know better are quick to point the finger and criticise and accuse.
Traumas from the past have held a life to ransom, always returning to a moment in time.
A landscape that is wild and rugged holds secrets of its own.
Being evacuated changes relationships. Best friends drift apart. Those who were previously ostracised are seen to have hearts of gold.
I absolutely adored The Valley Of The Lost Secrets. It is a marvellous debut novel. I have also read Lesley Parr’s second book, When The War Came Home, which is fabulous too. She is a master storyteller. I cannot wait for more from her.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.