Susan Wittig Albert has done more and written more than anyone I know. She started a now international group of writers, called Story Circle Network. I’m honored to say I’ve participated in two of the national conferences for SCN – once as a workshop leader and once as a one-on-one mentor. Susan writes non-fiction as well as fiction. In the fiction category, she writes the China Bayles mystery series, The Darling Dahlias series, and, with her husband, a Victorian-Edwardian mystery series. She also writes the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series. The Tale of Oat Cake Crag is the latest in that last series.
Here’s just a bit of the back cover blurb:
Miss Beatrix Potter has returned to Near Sawrey, seeking refuge from the bluster of London in the quiet of a mild March. But it is 1912, and elsewhere in England, Winston Churchill, the first Lord of the Admiralty, is said to be preparing for the unpleasant possibility of war. In the Lake District, the country peace has been interrupted by the numerous and noisy test flights of a new flying machine: the hydroplane.Reading The Tale of Oat Cake Crag, you feel transported back to that time and place. If this is your first Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter book, you may be caught by surprise since the animals talk (to you and to each other), but you quickly lose your surprise because the animals have so much to say and have a different perspective on the people and the goings-on. An unseen narrator takes you on your journey, keeping you up on the ties between characters and animals and lets you in on the gossip or history when needed. Susan Wittig Albert takes great care to be true to the time period and historical happenings. She’s also true to Beatrix Potter.
If you’re new to the Land Between the Lakes, Susan gives you a Cast of Characters which you can read before you begin the story, as well as recipes and a Glossary in the back. I admit, though, I did not read the Cast of Characters nor the Glossary before beginning the book – and I never had a reason to search either since Susan does a great job of making things clear through the writing.
I remember reading Beatrix Potter as a kid, but I didn’t fall in love with her until I read The Tale of Oat Cake Crag. I’m now a fan of Susan Wittig Albert’s Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series. This is the seventh in the series. You can read the series out of order, though, since the Narrator makes sure you’re never lost.
The Tale of Oat Cake Crag
Barnes & Noble
Or you can go to Susan’s site to order an autographed copy
I give The Tale of Oat Cake Crag a Hel-of-a-Writer rating.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FTC Disclaimer: The author, Susan Wittig Albert, sent me an ARC of The Tale of Oat Cake Crag. That did not influence my review. I met Susan many years ago at the first book signing I had ever attended. There were multiple authors signing and I carried her book around the store for a long time before I worked up the nerve to ask her for her autograph. I won’t give away this ARC because she signed it, but I believe I’ll buy the first in the series and give it to a favorite aunt. I think she would love this series. And don’t be put off if you’ve never read a single Beatrix Potter book. You don’t need to in order to fall in love with the people and animals who live in the Land Between the Lakes.