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Can anyone identify this children's book - early 1980s?
16

TheMemoryLingers · 28/02/2020 17:02

I've seen some posters recently with amazing skills at identifying books from very vague clues so I thought I would try this one which I have been trying to track down for years.

This is very, very vague, apologies and some of the details might be misremembered.

A girl (and her sister?) go to stay with their grandmother over the holidays, but it's not the gran they normally stay with - it's their other gran and she lives somewhere foresty and a bit witchy.

Their parents are separated and she really misses her dad.

There's some kind of magical artefact in the book - possibly a necklace - that is lucky or grants wishes.

At the end of the story she is reunited with her dad but he only seems interested in his step-family who are boys, and essentially rejects the girl. The ending is very sad - I wept at it as a child.

It was definitely the early 80s when I read it but it was a library book so might have been older than the 80s.

If this rings any bells I will be amazed and grateful.

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TheMemoryLingers · 29/02/2020 10:01

Just giving a bump in case any weekend Mumsnetters recognise this.

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DancelikeEmmaGoldman · 29/02/2020 10:55

I thought of Diana Wynne Jones’ The Merlin Conspiracy, but only some of the details match.

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TheMemoryLingers · 29/02/2020 10:58

Oooh! Thank you, I will check that out. I might be misremembering some of the details.

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pollyhemlock · 29/02/2020 11:04

Some of the details make me think of Midnight Blue by Pauline Fisk

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pollyhemlock · 29/02/2020 11:09

Also have a look at Wilkins Tooth by Diana Wynne Jones. This has a very sinister witch, two sisters and ( I think ) a necklace. However the ending as I remember it is not particularly sad.

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TheMemoryLingers · 29/02/2020 11:22

Thank you. Sadly, I don't think it can be Pauline Fisk because that was published a few years too late - it would have to have been out by 1985 based on where I was when I read it. It looks like a really good book, though, so I might read it anyway!

I've had a look at the Kindle preview of Wilkins' Tooth and it hasn't rung any bells so far, but I will keep going and look at other early Diana Wynne Jones books, as it does sound like a fit with what she writes, so hoping it might be a lead!

Thanks again for your help, Dance and Polly.

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SatsukiKusakabe · 03/03/2020 11:35

I think it’s a Diana Wynne Jones too - I’ll have a check.

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pollyhemlock · 03/03/2020 13:23

Yes, I thought that but none of them quite fits. There are elements of Fire and Hemlock, but again that doesn’t have a sad ending.

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SatsukiKusakabe · 03/03/2020 13:33

This is driving me mad now too - I am sure I read the synopsis of this book a short time ago when I was looking for a book - I think it isn’t Diana now I’m trying to think who else I looked up!

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Spidey66 · 03/03/2020 15:45

@pollyhemlock

Thank you thank you thank you.

I've been looking for years for a book about some kids running a ''company'' called Own Back Ltd but couldn't find it. I thought Wilkins Tooth sounded familiar....and guess what!!!!

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pollyhemlock · 03/03/2020 16:26

@Spidey66 You’re welcome! Haven’t been able to answer the original query yet, but at least I’ve helped you!

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bookworm14 · 03/03/2020 21:17

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pollyhemlock · 03/03/2020 22:26

@bookworm14 that sounds a distinct possibility . Date is right too (1982)

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TheMemoryLingers · 19/03/2020 12:55

@bookworm14 Oh, my goodness, I think you've found it! I remember the opening now I've looked at it online! You are a genius and I can't thank you enough!

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bookworm14 · 19/03/2020 13:17

Grin Glad to be of help! Hope it’s cheered you up a bit at this difficult time...

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TheMemoryLingers · 19/03/2020 16:08

It's by far the best news I have had in weeks, so I am definitely cheered up! Grin

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