Garner, Alan. The Owl Service. Odyssey Classics, 2006 (reissue). 240 pp. $
In a pastoral Welsh valley, a tragic love story plays itself out anew with each generation. When three teens discover a set of old dishes with an odd design, the haunting legend is set into motion once more. Can Alison, Roger and Gwyn break the cycle?
The suspense and supernatural occurrences drive the plot. Garner is a master storyteller, weaving the past with the present seamlessly. His use of plot devices such as books and village gossips to drop hints and tell part of the story is natural, never forced. The reader must pay close attention to piece the story–and the relationships of the characters–together. Welsh rhymes and pronunciations and British words may be a bit of a challenge for some readers.
The attractive cover art will appeal to teens. A full illustration of the plate decoration is included. Fans of supernatural, romantic mysteries will love the paperback version of this award-winning classic.