The Owl Service

The Owl Service

4.5 4
by Alan Garner
     
 

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Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison’s room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls—owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to

Overview

Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison’s room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls—owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen around Alison, Roger, and the caretaker’s son, Gwyn. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations...a love story that has always ended in disaster.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Three teenagers, Alison, Roger, and Gwyn, hear strange noises coming from the attic of their summer home. When Gwyn, the housekeeper's son, investigates he finds a stack of old dinner plates. Immediately Alison begins creating owls by tracing the floral pattern on every plate. As each plate is completed, the patterns and owls mysteriously vanish. Gwyn tries to make sense of it all with Alison's help but her mum forbids any contact. Distraught, Gwyn runs away but returns after he learns the truth. Garner's work of fiction is a complicated story that may need to be read more than once to be fully understood. A tragic Welsh love affair is repeated through Alison, Gwyn, and Roger. Gwyn must solve the mystery before it is too late. In the end Gwyn gets answers from a surprising source. Several examples of classism are apparent in this novel. The reader will either love or hate this story. 2006 (orig. 1967), Odyssey Classics/Harcourt, Ages 12 up.
—Mary Jo Edwards
From the Publisher
"A book to be read and re-read....Stirring to the emotions and the imagination.”—Christian Science Monitor
"It is hard to write with restraint about Alan Garner’s talent, so deftly does he build his story...of bright fantasy and somber Welsh legend, of romantic adventure and acid realism.”—Saturday Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399208058
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/25/1981
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

Meet the Author

ALAN GARNER is the award-winning author of Elidor, The Owl Service, and The Stone Book Quartet. He lives in Cheshire, England.

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The Owl Service 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much that I read it three times! It was full of mystery and it kept me reading late into the night. I read it months ago, and still remember every little detail because I loved it so much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alison, Roger and Gwyn end up releasing evil upon themselves by innocently tracing plates that reveal images of owls that later disappear. There's just enough info to confuse and interest you...since that's all I'm telling...read the book and be fascinated.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The owl service is an outstanding and reccomended book for readers. The story twists throught the book but it is quite hard to understand but once you have read it all you will find out that it was well worth your time reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is kinda weird, but I like it! I stumbled upon it in the library. I think that people who really enjoy fantasy stories will like this.