A Lark Ascending by John B. Campbell Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

A Lark Ascending

Life on the streets of London’s East End in 1921 presents thirteen-year-old Malcolm Roberts with a daunting array of challenges. Trying to stand up to bullies is hard enough. And pluck can backfire. While trailing some suspicious youths in Whitechapel, he stumbles upon a back-alley plot to purge Limehouse of its Chinese inhabitants. Malcolm cannot imagine what he could do
Stephen Crabbe

Apr 27, 2015

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it was amazing

This novel was enticing at first sight of the cover and title; the book description made me very hopeful of a good story. At the end of the reading I was very satisfied indeed. In the handling of setting, characters and theme the novel has a rather Dickensian flavour.

John Campbell is an excellent wordsmith, forging evocative narration with a wide vocabulary and sophisticated clear syntax. Through this language he thoroughly immerses the reader in the atmosphere and colour of London’s Whitechapel

John Campbell is an excellent wordsmith, forging evocative narration with a wide vocabulary and sophisticated clear syntax. Through this language he thoroughly immerses the reader in the atmosphere and colour of London’s Whitechapel and Limehouse areas. The era is 1921, following the First World War, pervaded by all the misery of post-traumatic stress and the Spanish influenza epidemic.

The protagonist, Malcolm, is a very likeable 13/14-year-old boy struggling to come to terms with his father’s shell-shock and his mother’s death. His clashes with other social and political storms, provide an external conflict within which he can test his superior intelligence and seek the courage he needs to negotiate his path towards adulthood. As he confronts the mystery, corruption, murders and mob violence Malcolm also gains wisdom through a variety of relationships with peers and adults.

The well-crafted narrative maintains strong suspense and interest in both the dangerous adventure Malcolm pursues and his psychological development. I identified with the boy all the way. A good number of secondary characters—some likeable, others nasty—are also very nicely drawn.

For me, this first acquaintance with the author’s fiction has been a real joy and I look forward to reading another of his books. I hope John Campbell continues to produce novels of such quality.

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C. Coleman

Aug 02, 2017

rated it
it was amazing

A delightful murder mystery set in London of the 1920s, post WWI era. It’s well written keeping the pacing going throughout with suspense and intrigue left and right. The characters are well developed making connection to them easy. Even with the bits of hinted drama, I never figured out the story to the end. The descriptions of the locations and tense scenery tones were excellent, painting a great mental pic without dragging the story.
One or two elements, Crocker and Jack might have been integ


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