An urgent, devastating novel of childhood and escape. The story of four boys’ attempt to deal with growing up and overcome the past.
Glenroy, Bullett, Curvis and Carlton – the best of friends, as tight as blood brothers. They all live in Pinewood Oaks, a home for orphans and children in care, besides the great forest named after the legend of the Seven Sisters.
At the home they are looked after by ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunts’, go to the local school and try to live like normal children. But, of course, they’re not.
When the four decide to run away from the home they head to the neighbouring forest. Freedom comes like a rush – away from the overbearing eye of authority; for the first time, they feel the exhilaration of adolescence. They are able, for the first time, to dream their future.
Yet the forest slowly asserts its own power as the story of the Seven Sisters impact on the four. Finally, the past collides with the present and forces them to face the brutal truths of their lives, the cruel theft of innocence and drives them to a final act that destroys their childhood for ever.
In The Seven Sisters, award-winning author Alex Wheatle unveils a shocking portrait of how a society treats its children. Like ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Once in a House on Fire’, the stains of childhood have dramatic effects, as Carlton, Bullet, Glenroy and Curvis finally have to deal with the past.
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'With a friendship of unspoken confidences remaining the focus, the four boys negotiate a mutual search for understanding and freedom. The narrative is strong and meaningful.' Vanessa Smith Holburn, Independent on Sunday
Reviews for EAST OF ACRE LANE:
'It is this blend of frantic action and thoughtful writing that ranks Alex Wheatle… as one of the most exciting writers of the black urban experience.' The Times
'Action packed, funny…its a cool, credible read. Wheatle has written a hard hitting novel which is an incendiary reminder of one of the most explosive events in London's post war history.' Big Issue
'This is a vibrant book pulsing with the reggae beats of the era. The dialogue… has rhythm and inventiveness.' Independent on SundayFrom the Back Cover:
'Glenroy, Bullet, Curvis and Carlton – The best of friends, as tight as blood brothers.'
They all live at Pinewood Oaks, a care home for children that perches just outside London, where the city meets the countryside, besides the great forest named Seven Sisters after a myth.
They go to the local school and try to be like normal children. But of course, they are not.
It is July, 1976. Summer is approaching. When the four decide to run away from the home they head to the neighbouring forest. Freedom – away from the overbearing eye of authority – comes like a rush. For the first time, they feel the exhilaration of adolescence.
Yet the forest has its own secret story that stealthily casts its power over the four. In the end, each boy has to face the terrible secrets of their childhood and the past is brutally revealed with shocking consequences. Poignant, bold and moving, 'The Seven Sisters' is a searing portrait of childhood.
Praise for 'East of Acre Lane':
"His prose is as sharp as a barber's razor…Thrilling, very funny, and most of all a page turner."
"Wheatle has written a hard hitting novel which is an incendiary reminder of one of the most explosive events in London's post war history."
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Book Description Fourth Estate in America, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000713584X