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Award-winning Linda Newbery uses the ruins of an old house as a way of unifying two stories about two young men in a thought-provoking view of World War 1. Contemporary Greg comes across the Shell House on a bicycle ride and wonders about the story behind it. Increasingly drawn to it, within its history he uncovers the tragic story of Edmund. The son of the house, Edmund, is scarred by his experiences at the front in World War 1 the horrors of which are made worse by the disjunction between the reality of the conditions endured by the soldiers and the smug and ignorant attitudes of his family and their friends. Greg unravels Edmund’s story bringing his own contemporary views of the war into the frame while also identifying with Edmund as both search for their acceptance of their identity.
The Shell House is a beautifully written and sensitive portrayal of love, sexuality and spirituality over two generations. Greg's casual interest in the history of a ruined mansion becomes more personal as he slowly discovers the tragic events that overwhelmed its last inhabitants. Set against a background of the modern day and the First World War, Greg's contemporary beliefs become intertwined with those of Edmund, a foot soldier whose confusion about his sexuality and identity mirrors Greg's own feelings of insecurity. This is a complex and thought-provoking book, written with elegance and subtlety. It will change the way you think.
Powerful, challenging reading for older teens Sunday Mirror
Compelling ... Elegiac, even literary -- David Self
|Publication date:||4th September 2003|
|Publisher:||Red Fox an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK|
|Suitable for:||YA readers|
|Other Categories:||The First World War|
Linda Newbery always wanted to be a writer, filling exercise books with stories which she hid in her wardrobe, but only began submitting her work once she became a secondary school teacher. She had her first novel published in 1988 and is now a full-time writer. Linda writes for various age groups and has twice been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, for The Shell House and Sisterland and in 2006 won the Costa Children’s Book Award for Set in Stone.Linda lives in a Northamptonshire village with her husband and three cats. She is an active member of the SAS ...More About Linda Newbery