The Owl Service, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships.

It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody's lives.

Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend - a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies.

As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780007127894



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I loved this book as a child and I have to say that I love this book as an adult. Garner's writing is multi-layered and there are nuances to his writing that I am sure that passed me by as a child such as the differences between those who speak English and Welsh and the class barriers between the children which divide them. The story feel both fresh and as ancient as the myths it encompasses. Why Alan Garner is not as popular as JK Rowling I don't know as he should be.

Review by

I don't think I got this book... The Owl Service tells the story of three teenagers in a Welsh mansion, mixed with an old Welsh folk story. To begin with some negatives, I found the language very hard to understand at times. I don't know if it's the age of the book, the Welsh, or just the writing style, but I really had to pay attention. And still, I felt like I was missing a lot of the story. The good thing about this book is that, despite my limited understanding, the feeling of the book comes across. It is creepy and mysterious. Overall, I didn't hate the book, but I can't say I'd recommend it.

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