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The funeral seemed like a toy funeral, a weird game that for some reason I was obliged to play. It was held in the small church in Belfield, since Belfield had been such a key locus in our lives, and everyone said it was a lovely service. Even during it, I felt no emotion, apart from a mild impatience with the whole thing and a wish to be elsewhere - at home with Bo. After the cremation in the crematorium in Mount Jerome, as people came and offered their condolences, I found myself looking over my shoulder, wondering where he was.

I had had enough, as he or I often had, at a party. One of the things I miss most is the possibility of relaxing totally with Bo, chatting frankly and ironically about the party or the lecture or the visit or the funeral. And then going back to reading and writing companionably, cooking and eating, watching television. After about two weeks the fuss died down. My children went back to their own places and occupations.

I was alone in the house. But my sense of transparency and hollowness increased. I felt as if I were made of paper, moving through the rooms like a shadow, and the house seemed large and cold and alien. What was I doing here? I had hardly ever been in the house without Bo for longer than a few weeks.

After two or three weeks, the soft grief, the tears, began to hit. The metaphors — waves, inundation, floods — are accurate. Grief dissolves you. I could no longer sleep upstairs in our bed; the big bedroom overlooking the sea was cold and frightening. I took to sleeping on the sofa in the front room. In the mornings I woke with a tight knot in my stomach, and rocked myself in bed for half an hour before I could get up.

In my diary I described the sensations of grief, ad nauseam — they lasted for several months:. This is how grief feels: there is a heaviness in the chest. An iron ring around the heart. Tears on the bubble behind the eyes. Sometimes an empty feeling in the stomach. All these feelings can go away temporarily. But they return, as if the ring around the heart were the default position for the body. I began to panic about financial issues. There were heaps of forms to fill in, at a time when the last thing I wanted to do was this sort of work — not that it is ever enjoyable.

There was actually no pressing problem. But when you are widowed your income decreases considerably, although the household expenses remain much the same. As it happens, everything fell into place gradually, but dealing with a new economy, and, in most instances, a lower income, is one of the issues which adds to the terror of the experience of widowhood — and there is a social taboo on talking about it. Bo always helped me deal with worries of this and of any kind, reassuring me that everything would work out, and helping in practical ways: he was efficient at paying bills and so on although he was a very unworldly impractical person.

Now, when I was down, I was faced with many bureaucratic issues and had nobody to help me deal with them.


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I began to have difficulties sleeping. I could not get the image of Bo trussed up like a turkey, intubated, his mouth pulled to one side cruelly, out of my head. I was convinced he had suffered pain. I went over all the mistakes I had made.

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I had promised Bo that I would make sure he never suffered pain. But he had suffered great pain, in the end. I had stood by and let this happen. I went to a doctor and got some sleeping pills. I continued to visit her for six months and the sessions became a crucial part of my survival during that time.

Grief is a rusting of the soul, which only work and the passage of time will scour away, Dr Johnson said, or words to that effect. He also said that grief will pass, but the suspense — the waiting — is terrible. I delved into all the grief literature I could find.

Some of it helped.

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Most of it offered some word of useful advice. Misery likes bedfellows? CS Lewis writes that you emerge like a person who has lost a leg. The wound heals and you learn to manage without it. That seemed realistic, even optimistic, in the raw state in which, to paraphrase Julian Barnes, I felt as if I had been thrown out of an aeroplane.

I think it was simply the company of the bereaved that one experiences in these good books which was in itself a comfort — the knowledge, in their accounts of the last days of their loved ones and the days, early and late, of their grieving, that somebody understood what losing your spouse is like. There is plenty of rubbish among the self-help books, many of which I bought — you see quickly which work is good and which superficial.

I found research-based studies of grief by psychologists and psychiatrists useful. Eighteen months seemed like a long time to suffer the sorrow and sense of loss I was experiencing, as I realised more and more that Bo and I were soul mates, and that there is nobody in the world who shares my particular interests and perspective on life as he did.

But at least the statistics suggested that recovery was possible, that people are resilient. Ordinary proverbial wisdom, folk wisdom, also suggested that recovery was likely, of course. He was about to give a lecture to the Folklore of Ireland Society. I burst into tears, as I was doing repeatedly at this time whenever anyone said a sympathetic word or even gave me a kind look. A few years sounded like a death sentence. But I held on to her words. I could believe her, because she was in the club nobody wants to belong to.

She had gone through it and survived. I was advised by others, including my counsellor, not to set time limits. In fact, the counsellor in particular had an aversion to time limits, and hinted that I was too obsessed with that idea. But clinging to the belief that it will get better in time is a comfort. We need hope and the only hope for someone who is shattered by the death of their partner is that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that time will heal.

One hears different time limits. Of course it is true that the waves of grief return, even over two years later, and a pang of longing can ambush you when you least expect it. But the most terrible waves do not return as often as in the first year, and when they do they are easier to deal with.

It took about a year for the lesson to sink in. It was a year before I stopped obsessively going over the most horrible week of my life.

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After two or three years, I stopped thinking about Bo all the time. After three years, I was able to think about him without sadness — I can simply remember him; I consult him for advice, and, although this can obviously be self-deceptive, I feel fairly confident in almost all instances of what his advice to me would be. I had in any case been in the habit of talking to my mother, who died in , in this way: as far as both she and Bo are concerned, I can guess what their counsel would be, and in both instances I know they are always on my side — now, just as they were when they were alive.

Of course, talking to a memory or a ghost is not the same as talking to a living person. A good imagination is a gift, but it can be overrated. As Keats wrote, imagination is no substitute for the real thing. There is no compensation for the loss. Moreover, according to many people who know him, Mallory has a history of imposture, and of duping people with false stories about disease and death. Long before he wrote fiction professionally, Mallory was experimenting with gothic personal fictions, apparently designed to get attention, bring him advancement, or to explain away failings.

In , Jeffrey Archer, the British novelist, began a two-year prison sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice. Nobody has accused Dan Mallory of breaking the law, or of lying under oath, but his behavior has struck many as calculated and extreme. If there was a story to tell that would help him, he would tell it. At that point, most publishing houses dropped out. Mallory had by then spent a decade in publishing, in London and New York, and many people in the profession had heard rumors about him, including the suggestion that he had left jobs under peculiar circumstances.

I recently called a senior editor at a New York publishing company to discuss the experience of working with Mallory.

Éilís Ní Dhuibhne on the death of her husband Bo, the subject of her new memoir

Craig Raine taught English literature at New College, Oxford, for twenty years, until his retirement, in Every spring, he read applications from students who, having been accepted by Oxford to pursue a doctorate in English, hoped to be attached to New College during their studies. Unusually, the application included an extended personal statement. Raine, telling me about the essay during a phone conversation a few months ago, called it an astonishing piece of writing that described almost unbearable family suffering.

Mallory said that his studies had been disrupted by visits to America, to nurse his mother, who had breast cancer. The brother died while being nursed by him. And Dan was supporting the family as well. And the mother gradually died. And, evidently, that sort of cleared up. And then she died. The brother had already died. Instead, he reviewed a collection of essays by the poet Geoffrey Hill. She lives for at least part of the year in a large house in Amagansett, near the Devon Yacht Club, where a celebratory lunch was held for Mallory last year.

At the wedding, she and Dan danced. This year, Pamela and other family members were photographed at a talk that Dan gave at Queens University of Charlotte. Dan has described travelling with his mother on a publicity trip to New Zealand. He and Pamela have been married for more than forty years. His maternal grandfather, John Barton Poor, was the chairman and chief executive of R. General, which owned TV and radio stations. Dan and Jake Mallory have two sisters, Hope and Elizabeth.

The family spent summers in Amagansett. From a dim corner of her hospital room I surveyed the patient, who appeared, tucked primly under the crisp sheets, not so much recouping from surgery as steeped in a late-evening reverie. Her blank face registered none of the pristine grimness which so often pervades medical environs; hopeful hints of rose could be discerned in her pale skin; and with each gentle inhalation, her chest lifted slowly but reassuringly heavenward. Mine, by contrast, palpitated so furiously that I braced myself for cardiac arrest. This strategy apparently failed with Princeton.

But the essay feels like a blueprint for the manipulations later exerted on Craig Raine and others: inspiring pity and furthering ambition while holding a pose of insouciance. Wong told me that Mallory did not work on the script. I learned it was O. Mary Carmichael, a Duke classmate and his editor at TowerView , told me that Mallory was now likely to sweep into a room. He later said that he had never had the condition. This is the point—of course—at which the father of the house walked in!

In subsequent interviews, Mallory does not seem to have brought up this bathroom again. But the exchange gives a glimpse of the temptations and risks of hyperbole: how, under even slight pressure, an exaggeration can become further exaggerated. For a speaker more invested in advantage than in accuracy, such fabulation could be exhilarating—and might even lead to the dispatch, by disease, of a family member.

The meeting continued, as a conference call. Get down! He took courses on twentieth-century literature and wrote a thesis on detective fiction. And his e-mails to me were like that, too; they were always very amusing. As Kelly recalled, by the end of the two-year course Mallory was making frequent trips to America, apparently to address serious medical issues. He applied to be an assistant to Linda Marrow, the editorial director of Ballantine, an imprint of Random House known for commercial fiction.

He later said that he had once had brain cancer himself. Mallory was given the job. These registered as messages of disdain, or as territorial marking.

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Mallory was suspected of responsibility but was not challenged. No similar cups were found after he quit. A few months later, after Mallory had moved to Oxford, his former employers noticed unexplained spending, at Amazon. When confronted, Mallory acknowledged that he had used the card, but insisted that it was in error. He added that he was experiencing a recurrence of cancer.

Highsmith subverts all that. Through some alchemy, she persuades us to root for sociopaths. Daniel Mallory. At Oxford, Mallory became a student-welfare officer. Mallory sometimes saw John Kelly, his former professor, for drinks or dinner.

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He recalled that Mallory once declined an invitation to a party, saying that he would be tied up in London, supporting a cancer-related organization. He claimed that he had two Ph. Toward the end of , he was hired as a mid-level editor at Sphere, a commercial imprint of Little, Brown. Mallory was amusing, well read, and ebullient, and could make a memorable first impression, over lunch, on literary agents and authors. He tended to speak almost without pause.

He wittily skewered acquaintances and seemed always conscious of his physical allure. He mentioned a friendship with Ricky Martin. This display was at times professionally effective. Others found his behavior off-putting; it seemed unsuited to building long-term professional relationships. It was performative and calculating. Mallory, who had just turned thirty, told colleagues that he was impatient to rise. Having acquired a princeling status, he used it to denigrate colleagues. Mallory moved into an apartment in Shoreditch, in East London.

In the summer of , Mallory told Little, Brown about a job offer from a London competitor. He was promised a raise and a promotion. By then, Mallory had made it widely known to co-workers that he had an inoperable brain tumor. Who could have taken them? And why? There's only one dog for the job Written by the brilliant Julia Donaldson and stunningly illustrated by the multi-talented illustrator and printmaker Sara Ogilvie, Detective Dog is a fast-paced celebration of books, reading, libraries, and the relationship between a little boy and his rather special dog.

What could be making that horrible howl? Could it be Owl, Moose, Bear or Goose? Or could it be. Packed with stylish illustrations and lyrical text from talented author-illustrator Jonny Lambert, The Great Aaa-Ooo is sure to become a bedtime favourite. This gorgeous animal picture book is perfect for reassuring children and toddlers who are scared of the dark or adjusting to sleeping in a big bed or in their own room. Would you fly like a bird or a rocket ship? Would you swim beneath the ocean, like a shark or an octopus? With rhyming phrases moving the adventure forward, the reader is given opportunities to make simple decisions, which affects how the story unfolds.

This results in creating a unique experience each time the book is read. Simple words are visually emphasised to help promote early reading development, comprehension and word recognition. Ultimately, the story ends with a positive moral lesson that plants the seeds for confidence and self-acceptance in young readers.

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned. Almost every day on the news we hear the terms "migrants" and "refugees" but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them. Every day, Jim Hickory the lumberjack heads into the forest with his trusty axe and chops down trees.

Unfortunately, all sorts of creatures lose their homes in the process, so Jim gives them a home in his beard - until one day it all just gets too much. Time for Jim to come up with a better solution! A story with a green message. An enchanting bedtime story about a small boy who is the custodian of night, from talented new picture book author and poet, Louise Greig, with beautifully atmospheric illustrations by Ashling Lindsay. Louise Greig's lyrical voice and Ashling Lindsay's warm, endearing illustrations hold a candle up to the magical nature of night-time in this soothing picture book.

Perfect for cosying up to read and share before bedtime, The Night Box is an original bedtime tale that sits perfectly alongside classics such as The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark — great for reassuring little ones who have a fear of the dark and calming down lively children before bedtime! Together they decide to work together to take care of the Thing. But before long a media circus builds up around the creature they are protecting and the debate about the Thing spreads far around the world.

This captivating picture book will be many things to many people: a story about thoughtfulness, an adventure in friendship and an intriguing and gentle social commentary on the search for meaning in modern life. When Natalie has to go to school with a pig stuck up her nose, her whole class gets together to find a way to get the pig out. But how will they do it? This delightfully silly tale, brought to life by warm, comical artwork from rising star Laura Hughes, will have children giggling and oinking out loud to try to work out how to get a farmyard animal out of someone's nose.

The perfect picture book for boys and girls — or for anyone who has ever got something stuck up their nose! Everyone knows that tigers live in jungles, not gardens. Could there? From the creator of Meerkat Mail and Dogs, comes a very funny rhyming woodland story about the perils of being too tidy. Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right? Lush foliage and delightful characters abound in this cautionary tale of overenthusiastic neatness that delivers its message of environmental preservation with subtlety and humour.

The freshness of the illustrations and the many comic details make this a very special book. Once you enter this forest, you'll never want to leave. Emily Gravett's engaging woodland creatures will appeal to fans of such classics as The Animals of Farthing Wood and The Wind in the Willows and the rhythmic, rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud. Meet Triangle.

He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today's most irreverent -- and talented -- picture book creators. In search of something special, Zuma travels the length and breadth of Great Britain to solve a gigantic puzzle.

Come and help him discover what it is. From the curious mind of Rowboat Watkins comes a ginormously imaginative story that is as funny as it is philosophical. How big is Big Bunny? And how will this story end? Readers both big and small will discover that it all depends on how you look at it. This is how pretty much all of my stories begin.

I think I have the start of one thing, but it turns to be the start of something else. Because all of your imaginary bunnies will go wherever you are willing to let them lead you. This is the thrill and nightmare of being able to invent something out of nothing at all. Tales of friendship, adventure and bravery, Classic Animal Stories weaves together a beautiful selection of bedtime delight.

The storybook includes a variety of short stories, fables and excerpts from classic writers including Kenneth Grahame, Rudyard Kipling, E Nesbit and Anna Sewell. Each story is accompanied by exquisite, hand-drawn artwork, bringing the characters and their tales to life.

Al's wacky experiments have the most unexpected and messy consequences in this new science-based adventure series. Al is experimenting to invent a time machine which would also be really useful to get him out of trouble! As a young scientist who never gives up Al is surprised to find out that his 'egg-speriments' can lead to very sticky situations! And home to cheery-but-creepy Clumso the Clued-up Clown whose job is to dish out fascinating facts to one and all.

Cruel beetle fashionista, Lucretia Cutter, is at large with her yellow ladybird spies. When Darkus, Virginia and Bertolt discover further evidence of her evil, they're determined to stop her. But the three friends are in trouble. Darkus' dad has forbidden them to investigate any further - and disgusting crooks Humphrey and Pickering are out of prison. Hope rests on Novak, Lucretia's daughter and a Hollywood actress, but the beetle diva is always one scuttle ahead….

Meet the brilliant, the wonderful, the courageous Cowboy Pug! The second book in a joyful new illustrated series for fans of Claude and Squishy McFluff. Pug and his faithful companion, Lady Miranda, are going to be cowboys for the day - and first of all they're going horse-trading!

But with their noble steed Horsey safely acquired, it's not long before they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Can Pug the reluctant hero overcome his fears and save the day once more? Daisy is SO excited! My skin goes up and down like the waves. My mind goes in and out like the sea. They say I've always got my mouth open, that I ask too many questions. But what's wrong with that? Billy's got a lot on his mind - that he'd rather not think or talk about.

So he watches David Attenborough, because Sir David's asked all the questions and got all the answers, and swims in the sea, just letting his mind drift. So when new boy and nature fan Patrick Green starts at school with 'fingers like steel, strength of a bear' and a mackerel swims up to Billy's face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear mask goggles and says: 'Fish Boy', Billy knows he can't keep it secret, because. You must read this. When people look at George, they think they see a boy.

But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom?

Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing. Princess Harriet Hamsterbone does not like sitting around at home.

So when her pal Prince Wilbur needs help finding a stolen hydra egg, Harriet happily takes up the quest. The third book in the award-winning comic hybrid Hamster Princess series will make you look at rodents, royalty, and fairy tales in a whole new light. Ben Pole is on the run from his arch-enemy Monty Grabbe when he discovers a forest with rope swings, water slides, Herbert the wombat, and best of all King Coo.

Cow-pat-a-pults and Slug Pulp to the ready! Monty and his gang have a dastardly plan, and Ben and Coo need to come up with their best invention yet We weren't supposed to be going to the pictures that night. We weren't even meant to be outside, not in a blackout, and definitely not when German bombs had been falling on London all month like pennies from a jar.

February, After months of bombing raids in London, twelve-year-old Olive Bradshaw and her little brother Cliff are evacuated to the Devon coast. The only person with two spare beds is Mr Ephraim, the local lighthouse keeper. But he's not used to company and he certainly doesn't want any evacuees.

Desperate to be helpful, Olive becomes his post-girl, carrying secret messages as she likes to think of the letters to the villagers. But Olive has a secret of her own. Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she's desperate to discover what happened to her. And then she finds a strange coded note which seems to link Sukie to Devon, and to something dark and impossibly dangerous.

Mango and Bambang reach for the stars in the fourth book of this charming illustrated series about a little girl and a tapir, described by The Sunday Times as having "real charm. But when disaster strikes, Bambang is the true star of the show. Superstar Tapir is Book Four in this delightful series for younger readers. When Mikey's dad died, something in Mikey died too. He loved his old man and he never stopped dreaming that one day his dad would land the role of a lifetime, prove them all wrong, and rock back up to the estate in the flashiest car anyone had ever seen.

Now there's just numbness, and not caring, and really, really stupid decisions. He says the worst of it is that he can't even remember his dad's voice any more. Eventually Mikey's best mate can't bear it any more, and so he sets out to give Mikey the memories - and his dad's voice - back. Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain. He knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren and guard it in times of danger. But for now, he's quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook.

Then Podkin's home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbit-kind has ever known. When Porridge was a wee kitten he toppled into a tin of tartan paint -- which is easy to do and not so easy to say.

Everyone has a super secret - or two - and Porridge is always there to lend a helping paw when things go awry. If there's a fishy biscuit in it for him….


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In this zany new series for young readers, Porridge purrfectly CAT-a-logs the family's hilarious adventures from a cat's-eye perspective. With wacky twists, silly word play and meow-nificent illustrations in every chapter, readers won't even want to paws for breath. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan the man, not the dog launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in But his destination keeps changing.

And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he'll uncover--from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Jack Cheng's debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time. The Blythes are a big, warm, rambunctious family who live on a small farm and sometimes foster children. Now Prez has come to live with them. But, though he seems cheerful and helpful, he never says a word. Then one day Prez answers the door to someone claiming to be his relative.

This small, loud stranger carries a backpack, walks with a swagger and goes by the name of Sputnik. As Prez dithers on the doorstep, Sputnik strolls right past him and introduces himself to everyone in the household. Prez is amazed at the response. The family pat Sputnik on the head, call him a good boy and drop food into his mouth. It seems they all think Sputnik is a dog.


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It's only Prez who thinks otherwise. But Prez soon finds himself having to defend the family from the chaos and danger unleashed by Sputnik, as household items come to life - like a TV remote that fast-forwards people: 'Anyone can do it, it's just that people don't read the instructions properly'; and a toy lightsaber that entertains guests at a children's party, until one of them is nearly decapitated by it - and Prez is going to have to use his voice to explain himself.

It turns out that Sputnik is writing a guidebook to Earth called Ten Things Worth Doing on Earth, and he takes Prez on a journey to discover just those ten things. Each adventure seems to take Prez nearer to the heart of the family he is being fostered by. But they also take him closer to the day that he is due to leave them forever This story is about a little girl named Property Jones, so-called because she was left in the lost property cupboard of a bookshop when she was five years old.

Property loves living in the bookshop, but she has a whopper of a secret So Property doesn't see the newspaper article announcing the chance to win the Montgomery Book Emporium, the biggest and most magnificent bookshop in the world! When her family win the competition, Property finds herself moving to the Emporium, a magical place filled with floor upon floor of books and a very bad-tempered cat. But all is not at it seems at the Emporium and soon Property Jones finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland - and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest.

They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town.

But the witch, Xan, is kind and gentle. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic.

Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks Luna's magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule-but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch.

Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her - even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known. When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long, the 'shop from nowhere' -- and its owner, Mr Silver -- draw Daniel into a breathtaking world of magic and enchantment.

Recruited as Mr Silver's apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the Emporium's vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms -- rooms that contain wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined. But when Mr Silver disappears, and a shadow from the past threatens everything, the Emporium and all its wonders begin to crumble.

Can Daniel save his home, and his new friends, before the Nowhere Emporium is destroyed forever? Ross MacKenzie unleashes a riot of imagination, colour and fantasy in this astonishing adventure, perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke and Neil Gaiman. John Drawbridge has moved to Widemoat Castle to learn to become a knight. And there is a LOT to learn How to charge with a lance on horseback without falling off. Why the spiral staircases always go up in a clockwise direction. How to defend the castle against invading parties. Why the plates served at banquets are made of stale bread and why you shouldn't eat them And much, MUCH more.