'This is a marvel: Fisk has an effortless understanding of what it feels like to be a child, and of the grown-up emotions that can exist in a young head.'  THE OBSERVER

'This book is absolutely fabulous. The way that the author writes it suspends all disbelief...the way she uses words is incredible...' TEEN TITLES 

'Pauline Fisk has a poet's feeling for the importance of words, and she uses them with great precision and a sharp awareness of their meaning and their music.'    JUNIOR BOOKSHELF 


'THE CANDLE HOUSE' - The Bodley Head


Between the tall grey stones which people called the 'kings and queens', on the chapel path, even down at the lych-gate standing beneath the lantern - with faces shining, eyes pale, clothes torn, bodies battle-scarred...

Who are they?' Vee asked.

When Vee and her father cross the Caus Valley for the first time, they feel as if they have entered another world. In it they find Maggot, girl of the night: Clem, with his secret struggles: and the mysterious boy in black, poised on the clifftop with his motorbike, claiming to bring a message from another place, perhaps another time. This is a valley struggling to break free, and Vee wants freedom too, but will it be at the cost of all that she holds dear? And will the valley's freedom be what its inhabitants expect?


Author's Note

My children were still children when we sat up one night rolling around ideas and asking what would happen if... They are now grown up, and maybe the valley that they imagined fighting for was the valley of their own childhood.  It certainly isn't any other valley that I know.  The Caus Castle of this story isn't the real one which lies half-hidden amongst the lovely south Shropshire hills - it's a Cause Castle entirely of the imagination.  And so is the valley a valley of the imagination, and the children of Caus children of the imagination, though striving for something that is far from imaginery - to understand the past, to face the future, to leave childhood behind and to make something of their lives.

More than any of my other books, I dedicate this one to my own children: Nat, Nancy, Beulah, Idris, Grace. My dear friends, I salute you!