The Owl Service Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Owl Service

This is an intense tale aimed at older teenagers about the repeating patterns of ancient and modern emotions. Alison and Roger are step-brother and step-sister. Alison's mother is divorced and has married again to Clive, Roger's father, and a kind man. They are on summer holiday in mid-Wales at the family retreat, a large old house which Alison has inherited. The house has a dark and dangerous history, with roots deep in Welsh history and the legends of the mountains. At the house they employ a Welsh housekeeper, whose son Gwyn strikes up a friendship with Alison. They also employ Huw, a groundsman, who is a bit half-ish, and full of obscure Welsh sayings.
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At the start Alison is ill, and while in bed is troubled by an ominous scratching noise in the attic. Gywn investigates and finds nothing but a china dinner service, which is hand-painted in flowers seeming to form owl-shapes. The owl-flowers are a magical link to the past and have a strange power, and they all soon find that old events and legends of the Welsh valley have a way of coming to life and influencing people to re-live them. Even the stone walls of the house hold secrets which the plates will unlock. Alison learns of the life of a legend of a beautiful woman who long ago was formed of the flowers of the valley and brought to life by a wizard. It seems that the murders and tragedy that surround her lovers have come back to haunt them.

The frustrated social aspirations of the housekeeper and her ambitions for her son, and the social difference between Gwyn and Alison all form tensions and bring to the surface the problems of the families involved.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Chapter Analysis of The Owl Service

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Horror story?    -   Yes Horror plotlets    -   the haunted house chased me! Family relations    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Owl Service

Alan Garner Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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