Sunday 7 February 2010

Noah's Castle - John Rowe Townsend

Noah's Castle
John Rowe Townsend
October Mist Publishing
ISBN 9780978545710

I was offered an advanced reading copy of this book. The book poses many interesting questions, and even though written originally 35 years ago, it is very fitting for today's economical and social setting. The book poses the questions of: 'What if money became worthless?' England is descending into economic disaster. The rate of inflation is changing hourly. Prices are skyrocketing, there are riots and people are literally starving to death. But for Norman Mortimer and his family things are not so terrible. For Norman is a man with foresight. When he predicted what w
as about to happen to the nation, he started planning. He buys a house well hidden from the street and other houses. Then he starts to gather stores to see the family through the current troubles.

Unfortunately, soon the government makes hoarding illegal. The family begins to be under stress, and as they see friends suffering and without, they struggle with what their father has done and is doing. First, Nessie the oldest daughter leaves, then the mother and youngest child. Soon it is just a father and his two sons. As rumours of the Mortimer's stocks spread, they are first blackmailed by a mobster, and a social action group tries to persuade Norman to distribute the stock to the needy.

This is an amazing book, well-written and so fitting to what is happening in today's world. The story moves at a quick pace, and progresses well. I could not put the book down. The story was so well-written I am planning on tracking down more of John Rowe Townsend's books to read in the future.

1 comment:

Joelle Anthony said...

I was so excited to see this. I am a YA author and John has been a friend and mentor to me for the last nineteen years (in fact, my book RESTORING HARMONY is dedicated to him), but he forgot to tell me about this re-release. I hope lots of people see it and realize all his books are this good, and most are still very timely. I just re-read A FOREIGN AFFAIR (published as KATE AND THE REVOLUTION in the U.S.) and it's 29 years old. Except for the technological references, it could've been written today. Do find more of his books. You won't be sorry. Maybe try THE ISLANDERS and THE INVADERS next. Or A FOREIGN AFFAIR. It's totally worth hunting down his books. Thanks for your review!