Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know how highly I rate author Jenny Twist's wonderfully chilling short stories, like Tales of the Mantequero, Away With the Fairies, Take One at Bedtime and more. This week I was delighted to see she had brought Uncle Vernon up from the McCaffrey cellar to celebrate Halloween with us all. It's a spooktacular short story and a great tea break read, and not just for Halloween. At only 99c/77p , it will do you more good than a chocolate biscuit, believe me. So go on, trick or treat yourself. It's worth it.
Here's my review:
This is a another great short story told as only Jenny Twist can tell them and perfect for the Halloween season - and beyond. It features the larger than life McCaffrey family who live in a ramshackle mansion in a small Yorkshire village, where everyone, as you'd expect, seems to know everyone else and their business. Except, of course, being Halloween, you have to expect the unexpected.
The extended McCaffrey family is large and colourful, with old Granny McCaffrey living on cornflakes and ham sandwiches (and probably not being able to tell the difference between them), the well-intentioned big Da and his strapping sons and daughters, through to 10 year old Bridget, "tiny and dainty, as if there hadn't been quite enough material left when it came to making the last child and she had to make do with what was left over from her much bigger brothers and sisters" and the one-eyed cat Genghis.
Oh, did I forget to say? There's also Uncle Vernon, who inhabits the cellar at Halloween and who, according to Janice McCaffrey is only "half-programmed". It's hardly surprising that Gary's girlfriend, the prim and proper Alison, spends half her time in a complete daze - and that's not just because she loves Gary!
I love Jenny Twist's story-telling style. It's honest, it's colourful and her characters have a Dickensian quality about them, but she convinces us that they are real and living among us - and furthermore, we know them. They all have their skeletons in the closet; ghosts in the attic, or Uncle Vernon in the cellar. Escaping with a Jenny Twist story is always a delightful adventure.
Time to bring out the cats - all five of them!
Well done, Ms Twist.