The Exiles was the winner of the 1992 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and is the first novel in Hilary McKay’s wonderfully witty and warm The Exiles series.
Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe Conroy love reading and having fun more than anything else. So the sisters are horrified when they learn that their parents are sending them away to Cumbria for the summer, to stay with their fearsome grandmother: Big Grandma. Big Grandma is strict, makes them do chores and doesn’t let them have any fun – but worst of all, she refuses to let the girls read any books. Determined to enjoy their summer, the sisters decide they aren’t going to put up with their grandmother’s tough regime, and in doing so they somehow manage to cause inordinate amounts of chaos . . .
But as the girls search for alternatives to Big Grandma’s way of life they slowly start to understand its appeal, just as she starts to understand them. Are the two generations more alike than they think?
McKay has a genius for comedy * The Sunday Times * Farce and genuine soft-hearted concern here mix wonderfully * The Guardian * McKay has created a boisterous, chaotic family which always makes me want to rush out and adopt three sisters * TES * The Exiles is a delight * Guardian * I can't think of a girl aged between eight and eighteen who wouldn't enjoy this little gem of a book -- Jill Murphy * The Bookbag * The characters are beautifully developed . . . recorded with such humour and sensitivity that it is an engrossing, sometimes laugh-out-loud story * Write Away * Readers will be tickled by the children's attempts to evade their canny grandparent and will be touched by the affection that blossoms between generations despite initial clashes of wills. * Publishers Weekly * McKay has a real gift for amusing dialogue and descriptions. A delightful debut. * Kirkus Reviews *
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