"Mutual misunderstanding was not a new topic in fiction — or even in children’s fiction — but surely few explored it with Mayne’s insight, humour, gentle delicacy or subtlety: how children are not party to adult agendas, compromises, habits and assumptions; and of course vice versa, that in growing up adults have very often lost or set aside a valuable way of seeing the world. That there’s a thread of trust that marks the path everyone is treading, and that this thread is sometimes very fragile indeed. Can sympathetic intelligence and wisdom — wisdom precisely about such trust — sit alongside deep selfishness and a capacity to abuse? Well, yes, sometimes I think it can." Complex, thoughtful piece about William Mayne and difficult questions.