Sunday, 5 December 2010
Synopsis of Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine
It is a wild and stormy night when five British school children from Mordanger School arrive ahead of their classmates for a week-long field trip at "haunted" Old Harwick Hall. With the aid of flashes of lightning, the two girls Claudia and Pixie and three boys, Robbo, Ralph and Colin find a long-abandoned secret room containing a mysterious journal. On the cover, it reads, ‘ Richard Clayton Harwick – My Story. Read and Weep’. From the journal, the children uncover the story of a boy who runs away from the sinister influence of a loveless stepfather. Richard Clayton Harwick's long-hidden journal provides an inner tale that triggers off, one by one, each of the stories of the listening children, all of whom also have "steps," or step-parents, to share their own sagas. And what engrossing, heart-rending stories they are: of hurting but still humorous children picking their way through a minefield of embittered or uncommunicative or just plain immature parents, insecure or reluctant step parents and resentful step siblings. However, the lack of a principal plot is of no consequence as the novel main purpose is to serve as a forum for the various stories. "Step by Wicked Step" proves that all pain eventually heals and that we have the power to change things for the better.