Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Raffina (1999) Post 178

Raffina is the story of four orphaned sisters living on the outskirts of a village. One snowy evening Kes and Fawnie are waiting for their eldest sister Fili who us twenty and their youngest sister, Raffina, who is nearly twelve. Fawnie and Kes keep house and tend the garden while Fili is at work and Raffina runs wild. Fili comes home with disturbing news. There's a rumour of a werewolf in the forest and they must move, again, before things get too dangerous.

Raffina comes home to find her sisters packing, She's not pleased, having just settled down after the latest move, one of ten in the past three years. Someone knocks on the door demanding entrance and reluctantly Fawnie lets Master Kenton and his wife come in. These redoubtable villagers search the cottage before telling the girls to lock up tightly. Raffina wants to know what the werewolf looks like so she knows what to look out for. Master Kenton gives a description of black eyes, a monobrow and hairy hands. The sisters relax, and the neighbours go home... and Raffina goes off to have a prowl in the forest.

The illustrations are quite brilliant in this one, giving young Raff a decidedly knowing look. For anyone paying close attention to the girls' names, there are plenty of clues that Raff isn't the only were in the family. I liked these characters, so years later I wrote a story taking place when Raffina is grown up. That certainly wasn't suitable for children so it was published under one of my pen names. I occasionally wonder if the kids who read Raffina back in the late 1990s, and who are now adults themselves, might get hold of Moon Madness, read it, and feel a twinge of memory. Surely they once read another story about four sisters with these very names?

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs http://www.affordablemanuscriptassessments.com and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

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