Voyage of the Sparrowhawk took me on the most wonderfully exciting, daring and moving adventure that kept me delightedly gripped from start to finish as I ventured across the Channel with two close friends and their faithful canine companions.
In the aftermath of the First World War, young Ben has suffered two great losses: the death of his adoptive father and the news that his wounded older brother, Sam, is missing. Returning to the Sparrowhawk after a spell staying with a friend of his father’s, he makes a rather alarming discovery: a young girl, Lotti, is hiding on the boat and begs him to hide her as she is being chased by a crook after having stolen a mistreated dog from him, a chihuahua called Federico.
Ben and Lotti are lonely, having lost much, and quickly form a bond. Although Lotti comes from a much more privileged background, they have much in common: loss of loved ones, a connection to France and their love of their dogs, Elsie and Federico.
When disaster strikes and Lotti finds herself in danger of losing Federico and being dismissed to another boarding school by her uncaring, cruel Aunt and Uncle, she seeks help from Ben. Meanwhile, Ben has troubles of his own. He has lied to the local policeman, Albert Skinner, saying that his older brother is on his way home, but Skinner is suspicious and is edging closer to the truth which may see Ben losing his beloved home. When Ben admits the truth about his brother to Lotti, she reveals that her grandmother, who has stopped corresponding with her, lives close to the hospital where Sam was a patient … and so the adventure begins!
These two courageous, tenacious children with a heart for adventure make a decision that will change their lives, a decision that takes them on an action-packed, exhilarating race across the Sea in the hope that they can both find what they have lost before they are caught by a determined pursuer who is hot on their trail …
I was completely engrossed by this thrilling adventure as the children battle to keep one step ahead of the law, as they navigate the open sea on a narrowboat, as they meet new friends and search for answers. This has a real classic adventure feel that completely swept me into the magic of the storytelling and into the lives of these two wonderful young children as they search for a place to belong.
Voyage of the Sparrowhawk is a truly exceptional, heart-warming and exciting adventure with mysteries to solve, warm humour and delightful friendships. Perfect for any young adventurers who are keen to escape on an unforgettable voyage.
Thank you to Bethany Carter and Faber & Faber for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.