It’s 1929 and eleven year old Anna Francis lives with her father, George in a damp, lonely old house in Oxford, England. Life hasn’t been great for them since they fled Greece. Her mother and brother were both killed at the hands of the Turks who destroyed their city. Her father is no longer the pleasant man who educated her in the Greek myths and read to her when she was small. He’s wasted away their money and spends his time drinking and holding meetings with other expatriates. Anna’s life is very lonely and sad. Her doll Pie is all she has to talk to.
While Anna’s father is holding his meetings, Anna sneaks out of the house for adventures in the city and wood near her house. Anna’s adventures are just beginning. First she witnesses a murder and the murderer sees her, but lets her go. Anna has some very nice run-ins with two not-yet-famous men, Jack Lewis (C.S. Lewis) and Ronald Tollers (J.R.R. Tolkien). She even gives Tolkien some ideas about what a tree might say and what it might sound like. Fans of Tolkien will get a little chuckle!
One day, Anna decides to make the attic of the old home her special place. Once she starts spending time there, she comes across young Luca hiding out in the attic. Luca comes from a family of gypsies and getting to know him will change Anna’s life forever.
The writer uses a lovely descriptive atmosphere here which fits with the dreamlike sequences that unfold. Anna was a very sympathetic character and I felt so sad for her. At about the halfway point, the book changed to something very different. It took a startling turn that caught me off guard and I wasn't really sure where it was going from there. It was a bit like reading two short stories. The Wolf in the Attic is book of many delights. It draws heavily from numerous areas such as Greek mythology, English folklore, paganism, and other theological themes. It’s a good read for those of you who love fairy tales.
I want to thank the publisher (Rebellion Publishing) for providing me with the ARC through Netgalley for an honest review.