Comforting and classic in tone, Judith Eagle writes stories that delight and dazzle. 'The Pear Affair', like 'The Secret Starling', is no exception.  Full of larger-than-life characters set against the fabulous back-drop of Parisian society in the 1960s, 'The Pear Affair' is a fun and charming adventure, glittering with period detail.

Penelope (Nell) Magnificent's parents are far from magnificent. The only person who has truly loved and cared for Nell is Pear, her former French au-pair. So when Nell's parents go on a business trip to Paris, she sees it as her chance to track down Pear and leave her parents for good. But when Nell arrives she discovers Pear is missing and there are other mysteries swirling down the cafe-strewn streets and in the dark tunnels below, where children roam....


I really loved 'The Pear Affair'. Eagle manages to craft a gripping plot that weaves with twists and turns much like the secret tunnels below Paris itself. Nell is fantastic and we root for her from the start - like an unloved child straight from the pages of Roald Dahl. The first chapter brilliantly sets up our sympathy for Nell and we are quickly called to her adventure. From then on the story crackles with mystery and joy, and Eagle does this with the gentlest of touches. Her prose is magnificently woven like the finest silk-threads while comforting like a woollen blanket. In saying that, there are moments where the stakes are raised so much that you have to race through the chapters to see that Nell and her friends will be okay. Thankfully, the ending is wonderfully happy with all the threads tied up beautifully. Eagle does this with such charm, you cannot help but smile.


Another thing to mention here is Kim Geyer's wonderful illustrations which are just so well suited to Eagle's writing. 


Brilliant stuff! I cannot wait to see what Eagle writes next - where will we go next and when?

© 2021 by Chris Soul