The Penwinnard Stories by M. A. McRae
The Penwinnard Stories are projected to be a collection of six books set in a Boys’ Home in Cornwall. They are fiction, and while for many of the boys, there is a background of abuse and neglect, this is not what my stories are about. They are about the boys – resilient, tough, sometimes far from docile, doing the best they can with the cards that life has dealt them. Two book s have now been published, Angel No More and You Gotta Have Manners. They are available to download from Smashwords in a number or formats, or in Kindle or paperback from Amazon.
For further insight into this series, read the Penniward backstory on the author’s blog.
Angel No More: A Penwinnard Story
by M. A. McRae
He calls himself Robert Kelly, known as Bob. They call him the mystery boy.
A boy is discovered walking on a country road. He is injured, exhausted, lost and alone. He refuses to tell what happened to him, and the name he gives matches no records. But he tells a story – a story of routine kidnaps, murders, and abuse. It wasn’t him, though – he was never there. “Someone” had told him about it. This is the story of Bob, who would never again be called Angel.
Ian Mackender is the manager of Penwinnard Boys’ Home. . He knows his boys, he knows the good and bad of them. He understands them better than they understand themselves. But this new one? He doesn’t understand Bob.
When the story finally breaks, the ramifications will be felt worldwide.
By Debbie Bennett
Set in a children’s home for boys in Cornwall, this is the first book in a series, each book presumably focussing on a different boy. This story is about Bob, once known as Angel, who has spent the past couple of years providing sexual services to wealthy men from all over Europe. Bob escapes and ends up at Penwinnard, where he gradually comes to terms with what’s happened to him. But while Bob tries to make a new life for himself, the French police are closing in and Bob is torn between shutting out his past and trying to save the boys he knows are still out there.
Like the author’s other books, this is a story with a huge cast and yet we are never confused or left wondering who is who. Each character is quickly and cleverly outlined with all the quirks and habits of real people living real lives. The focus is on Bob sufficiently to appreciate the appalling situation he’s been in, but there’s enough of a lighter touch in the other boys to keep the novel buoyant and readable. There’s humour as the Penwinnard boys establish their own pecking order and vie with each other to impress potential foster parents. And it all sounds so utterly authentic and believable. Despite the dark subject matter, this is a rich and fulfilling story which will leave you wanting to know more about all of the Penwinnard boys.
You Gotta Have Manners: a Penwinnard Story
by M. A. McRae
Ian MacKender liked to boast that Penwinnard Boys’ Home was the best facility of its type in all of the UK, and perhaps the world. But whatever he could do, the best he could do, his boys still longed for true family.
Young Sid very much wants a new mum and dad, and is willing to put a great deal of effort into finding one. He is goodlooking enough, “passable”, as he is told, but as he says rather too often, “You gotta have manners.”
By Debbie Bennett
After reading Angel No More, I was hoping for more of the same – and I wasn’t disappointed. Although the focus is slightly more on young Sid, who’s desperate for a new adoptive family, there is still plenty of action involving the other boys. We’ve said goodbye to some characters and we meet a few new ones, but as before this is a fly-on-the-wall account of life in a privately-run boys’ home in Cornwall. And it’s beautifully done too, with just the right amount of detail. The author has perfect timing – knowing when to focus in on something specific and when to pull back and give us the wider picture, resulting in a satisfying read. Thoroughly recommended again.
About the Author
M. A. McRae is an Australian author.
The Shuki Series:
The first book: Not a Man, was published by Night Publishing in October 2011. In this book, we are introduced to Shuki Bolkiah, eunuch. It covers the years of his life from the age of 10 to the time when he graduates from Oxford University.
The second book is The King’s Favourite, published in May 2012. You do not need to have read Not a Man in order to enjoy the second in the series. They are quite separate stories, though still about Shuki, the one who began as a slum boy, and ended as a person to be very much respected, even though not a man. Both of the books of the Shuki series are available as eBooks and as paperbacks. The third book in the series is expected to be released early in 2013, and there is a fourth book in progress.
The Penwinnard Books:
The Penwinnard Books are set in a Boys’ Home that is situated in Cornwall, UK. The first two are titled Angel No More and You Gotta Have Manners. There are four more books planned in this series.