Jean, our final guest for this year’s Witch Week, draws our attention to a neglected children’s novel where treason and plot are the main drivers of the narrative, a great instalment for Bonfire Night
John Verney’s Friday’s Tunnel
by Jean Ping
John Verney’s stories are more like Tintin adventures than anything else I have ever read, short of actual Tintin adventures. I have read four, all centered on the Callendar family of Sussex, and they are all stuffed with fantastical schemes, suspicious characters, and strange coincidences. Friday’s Tunnel is the first, published in 1959.
February Callendar, aged 13, is the second of the many Callendar children, and she is the narrator. Summer holidays have only barely begun — Friday, the oldest, can’t wait to continue his ongoing project of digging a tunnel in the hill at the back of the garden, and February cares only for riding her Shetland pony — but their father spoils the fun by announcing that he has to go off to the Mediterranean right away.
He’s a newspaper journalist and an authority on the tiny island of Capria, and the news says that there’s a coup underway; but he’s sure that there isn’t, and that he’s needed to save the situation before the Americans and the Russians each swoop in to grab the newly-discovered, and very valuable and mysterious, mineral — caprium. There is quite a lot of treason and plot going on, but on the part of whom?Continue reading “#WitchWeek2021 Day 6: Unhinged Fun”