The House With 46 Chimneys is an adventure story set against the background of the early days of the coronavirus lockdown.
Life changes dramatically for Kaleb, Jude and Sequoia when they move to live with their aunt in a rural corner of central Scotland. But then life is changing dramatically for everyone. It’s the beginning of April 2020, the early days of the coronavirus lockdown. The roads are nearly empty of cars and the blue skies almost clear of aeroplanes.
Three local children they meet – in a socially distanced way – draw them into a two-century old family mystery involving the haunting of the nearby ruins of Dunmore Park, ‘The House With 46 Chimneys’. As the book builds to its climax, the children are faced with a decision. Do they try to right a wrong that was done in 1828, a wrong that has had consequences ever since? Or is doing so simply too dangerous?
The House with 46 Chimneys is a wonderful read that I’ll be recommending to all my teacher colleagues as soon as we return to school and I’m sure that many of them will be keen to explore it with their classes as it has a local interest angle tat really intrigued and fascinated me too .
I absolutely loved both the tale and its narrative voice and if you haven’t read it you need to add it to your TBR pile without delay as it satisfied my urge to read a story that confounded my expectations and proved that you don’t need to be a young person to fall in love with characters and tales written with a younger audience in mind.
Although I was totally absorbed in the story in The House with 46 Chimneys , it is the characters in this absorbing tale that makes it such a treat to read. The contemporary aspect of the story is so vividly realised that it was hard at times to remember that these are fictional characters rather than real people whose adventures I was vicariously getting to experience. The way that these adventures are represented in the story is so well done that this would be the perfect tale to read aloud – either in class or at home and the very different characters and personalities that you get to meet will be sure to spring off the page. The setting was something that really appealed to me as I loved reading books set in places that I know and this setting is somewhere that I played and ran around in myself, as a younger reader Added to this was the fact that I enjoy a story that keeps me on my toes and turning the pages and this certainly did!
The world that Ken Lussey creates is very vivid and exciting to experience alongside these characters as we explore it with them and are introduced in turn to the historical back story that we encounter. You will definitely find it hard to put this book down and I read it in a single sitting as I was so invested in this intriguing story and if you are yet to start reading it, you’re definitely in for a treat.
I absolutely recommend this book to people who really enjoy a story that is original, compelling, and interesting in equal measure. In the present reading climate, many books seem a bit too much like something you’ve read before – and this book certainly stood out a mile for me in terms of books for younger readers as a teacher myself. I loved the characterization as much as I enjoyed the plot and I will definitely be recommending it to friends with children who are looking for a great family read with characters that feel like they step right off the page. It shows the challenge of stepping out with your reading comfort zone – and would definitely lead to some positive and thought-provoking family conversations in a most non-preachy way.
Buy yourself a copy here and enjoy experiencing a tale that you won’t forget in a hurry from Ken Lussey
Writer On The Shelf
Ken Lussey spent his first 17 years following his family around the world; his father was a Royal Air Force navigator. This was a process involving seven schools and a dozen different postal addresses. He went to Hull University in 1975, where he spent much of his time hitch-hiking around Great Britain, met his wife Maureen and did just enough actual work to gain a reasonable degree in philosophy, that most useful of subjects!
Before getting a ‘proper job’, he researched and wrote ‘A Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Great Britain’, which was published by Penguin Books in 1983. He spent the next couple of decades as a civil servant, during which time he fulfilled the long-held ambition of moving to Scotland. In more recent times he has helped Maureen establish the website ‘Undiscovered Scotland’ as the ultimate online guide to Scotland and come full circle by returning to writing.
Ken’s latest novel, published by Arachnid Press, is ‘Bloody Orkney’ and is the third in his series of thrillers set in Scotland during World War Two. Its two predecessors, ‘Eyes Turned Skywards’ and ‘The Danger of Life’ were published in 2018 and 2019 by Fledgling Press. He has also written ‘The House With 46 Chimneys’, an adventure story for younger readers set in central Scotland against the background of the early days of the coronavirus lockdown. This was published in late 2020 by Arachnid Press.