In this exciting sequel to The Chestertons and the Golden Key, we find the Nicholl family in the midst of mystery, trouble, secrets, and adventure. Clare Nicholl is spending the holidays with the Chestertons. But the visit is anything but quiet and peaceful! Two new friends add intrigue. Clare’s future as a writer is in question. Cece encounters a situation that challenges her strength of character. And Joan gets her first letter from a boy. Adventure and fun times follow Gilbert and Frances Chesterton as the Nicholl sisters find their friendships ever deepening.
Nancy Brown’s “The Chestertons and the Top Meadow Troupe” presents the beautiful, teaches the truth and sends young children, as well as us older children, off to live the good!
As a young boy, I spent a lot of my childhood in Norway. Not speaking the language fluently and not having any playmates my own age, I spent a lot of time roaming the fields and forests, imagining great adventures. My grandmother had an extensive library with books of many types. In her library was a collection of E. Nesbit books full of fantastical adventures of young Victorian children in faraway country locations. At age 10 I devoured these books. After each read, I played the adventures out in the garden and countryside of Norway. I have no doubt that these magnificent tales were the reason I discovered Narnia shortly after.
When I had children of my own, and they were reaching the same age I wanted to read good fiction to them. At the time there was a plethora of young readers series but all of them were either badly written or offered nothing to developing a love of literature, a love of wonder, or the gift of imagination. So, I returned to the stories by E. Nesbit, and my kids loved them.
Through a masterful craft of writing, Nancy Brown has brought back that style of writing that made E. Nesbit so popular in her own time and even popular today. If you have young readers, don’t hesitate to bring this book and its prequel into their lives. But don’t be surprised if you find your children digging for buried treasure in the days to follow.
I am so happy that Nancy Brown has written a sequel to “The Chestertons and the Golden Key”. I loved reading that book and returning to that imaginative and playful age of my 10-year-old self. While teaching classes at Franciscan University Steubenville, I would often carry that book around with me, occasionally just opening it to read a quick page as a sort of palate cleanser , or a reset button for my frame of mind. It was the best anti-depressant, because even a short time in the world of Nancy Brown’s writings awakens the inner child where everything is an adventure, and the imagination instantly takes flight.
Thank you, Nancy Brown, for returning a childlike wonder and a spirited imagination back to children’s literature in stories that parents can depend on to inspire their own children to be children of innocent wonder in our present times. Who knows how many children reading these tales may also become great writers over time!
“Great writers write from the heart,” explained Clare with passion. This sentiment from “The Chestertons and the Top Meadow Troupe” couldn’t be more true.
– John Walker, Professor of Fine Arts, Franciscan University of Steubenville.
“We need more stories like The Chestertons and the Top Meadow Troupe! Nancy Brown uses her extensive research on G.K. and Frances Chesterton to craft a rich tapestry of 20th century Beaconsfield and its famous inhabitants. With charming dialogue, appealing characters, and a warm holiday setting, Nancy Brown’s love for the Chesterton’s (and for her young readers) shines through this heartwarming Christmastide story!”
– Haley Stewart, author of The Sister Seraphina Mysteries and Editor of Word on Fire Spark