Owl Service

Garner, Alan. The Owl Service. Read by Wayne Forester.  Franklin, TN: Naxos Audio Books, 2008.

This is a really cool audio. For starters, each chapter is punctuated with classical music – music from the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra with Libor Persek, conducting. Wayne Forester does a great job reading the story as well. My one gripe? The plot itself was a little difficult to follow since a lot of detail is implied rather than spelled out. I might have had an easier time of it if I had read it rather than listen to it on audio. This is part children’s story, part Welsh legend. The Owl Service takes children and adults alike through mythology and modern day tensions. Alison and Roger are step-children brought together by the marriage of Alison’s mother to Roger’s father. In an attempt to bond the family they go on holiday to the countryside of Wales. The vacation home has been in Alison’s family for years and with it comes a cook/housekeeper and her son, Gwyn, who happens to be the same age as Alison and Roger. Together, the three children struggle to find their place in the newly formed union. But, the story really begins when Alison hears a noise in the attic. Nothing is there except a pile of dishware with an owl/flower design. These plates become the center of an ancient welsh myth and become Alison’s obsession. Strange things start to happen. As she traces the design onto paper it disappears from the plates, leaving them a plain white porcelain. Then the plates are discovered smashed, one by one. What follows is a tale of secrets unraveling – great for young and old…as Pearl says.

Reason read: Garner’s birth month is in October.

Book trivia: The Owl Service won the Carnegie Medal.

Author fact: Don’t Google Alan Garner. You’ll get the guy from the Hangover. This Alan Garner, the one who wrote The Owl Service has a really cool unofficial website here.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Fantasy For Young and Old” (p 84).


2 Comments on “Owl Service”

  1. FictionFan says:

    Intriguing review! I loved Alan Garner when I was younger, but I don’t seem to remember this one. Sounds intreresting…


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