Is this book about me? by Jo Franklin

Have you ever read a book that seems to be about you, even though it isn’t? For me that book was Flambards by KM Peyton and I was ten years old.

Flambards snipit

The most important book from my childhood


I totally identified with the main character, Christina. The events of the book were different to my life, but her feelings seemed so familiar to me.

Christina is a teenage orphan who has been passed from one relative to another until she is forced to go and live with her brutish Uncle Russell and her two male cousins, Mark and Will, at Flambards. It soon becomes clear, that Russell is hoping Christina will marry Mark one day so that her inheritance can be used to save the rundown estate. But young people don’t always do what adults want and … you will have to read the book to find out what happens!

The facts of my life were completely different, but the emotional roller coaster I was experiencing growing up seemed to be the same as Christina’s. I felt a bit neglected and my wishes were often ignored by the adults around me. That left me feeling out of place and unloved. So I arrived in Flambards with Christina.

She felt awkward, not quite sure of her status in the household. So did I.

She was scared but also contemptuous of her uncle and I felt the same about someone in my household.

I wasn’t very interested in the horses and hunting which create the setting for Flambards but they are key to how the characters behave. Especially the two boy cousins. I found myself falling in love with one of them, just like Christina, but you’ll have to read the book to find out who it was.

I re-read Flambards recently and all the emotions I experienced came flooding back. It was disturbing and exhilarating all at the same time. I was ten years old again.

Why don’t you borrow a copy of Flambards from the library or choose it next time you go book shopping? Let me know what you think.

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