A tender, lyrical tale from the author’s childhood in an idyllic English village, with environmental and conservational themes. In this involving tale, master storyteller Michael Morpurgo revisits the “landscape of his memories”, telling of his boyhood in the idyllic village of Bradwell fifty years before. The village is a stone’s throw from the sea and is peopled by quirky characters such as the three Stebbing sisters, the white moustachioed Colonel Burton and Bennie the village thug.
But the heroine of this story is the serene Mrs Pettigrew, who lives in a railway carriage down in the marshes with her dogs, donkey, bees and hens. But industrial reality intrudes when plans are made to build a nuclear power station on the site of the marshes, endangering Mrs Pettigrew’s home and the gulls, owls, kestrels and thousands of insects and plants which also belong there.
A village battle ensues for and against the environmental hazard of the power station, and the young Michael finds himself caught up in the sad fate of Mrs Pettigrew and the landscape of his boyhood. This is evocatively illustrated by Peter Bailey.