The Book

—Get your copy of Return to Kirrin!


Support local bookshops:

  • Order Return to Kirrin from the lovely Hunting Raven in Frome: call them on 01373 473111 (UK), and they will post you one directly.

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What will I find in the book?

Set in 1979, the Kirrins are now grown-up forty-somethings. Mrs Thatcher has just become Prime Minister, and Ford Capris rule the roads. Smooth, successful entrepreneur Julian has big plans for Kirrin Island, but needs to convince Dick, Anne and George – not an easy job! George is as fierce and independent as ever, despite her teenage son. Her dog, Gary, is not at all like dear old Timmy! Anne has a ‘perfect’ marriage and rather unusual twins, and Dick is still seeking success and the love of a good woman.

Of course there will be temper tantrums, awkward children and mysterious lights at sea, but serious danger and old political secrets threaten the cousins and the island. Touching, humorous and affectionate, this novel will delight anyone who wonders how their favourite characters might have grown up and coped in a changing world.

Can adults ever really dip their toes into childhood rock pools?

—by Neil & Suzy Howlett

Review from ‘World of Blyton’ site: excerpts from a Blyton expert…

“I’m always very wary about Enid Blyton continuation books…but [here] we get enough insight to begin to understand why the Kirrins are the way they are as 30 or 40 somethings… The 1979 setting allows for fresh language (though nods to the original language are made), fresh attitudes, plots and so on. Also…as Neil and Suzy were young adults in 1979, they have written about a time they know…

…Secondly, this book was written by true fans with real affection for the series…It actually left me wishing for a sequel so I could see them all fully enjoying their new leases of life – and if that’s not an endorsement coming from me then nothing is! It also made me shed a few tears (the good kind) particularly near the end so I think the ‘affectionate’ and ‘touching’ descriptions from the authors were apt.”

• Thanks for the thoughtful words Fiona @ World of Blyton (…your review is insightful enough that it has its own positive reviews in the comments!)

Reviews from more readers (4.9/5 on Amazon!):

—A really good read – kept me gripped from beginning to end. Fun to see how the original characters had developed – not all for the better alas but the island seemed to works its magic on them again. Thoroughly recommend.

—I really enjoyed seeing what had become of these lovable characters. A well observed and pacey story with a topical twist…lashings of nostalgia in this lovely book, which brings childhood favourites to life.

—Lots of discussions about whether children were happier and more free in the forties, the seventies or now. Satisfying plot, quite moving in parts, always amusing, and with some very clever surprises. Definitely recommended, especially if you want a happy and refreshed book club. It put a bit of sparkle back into ours after a winter of heavy reading.

Lego Kirrin! Thanks Henrique (a reader in Portugal) – enjoy…

—Well this was fun! Just right for our book club, because we all had something to say about how those Famous children grew up, and what they were like as adults. My favourite this time round was Dick – he deserved his break! Also couldn’t resist Anne’s son Johnny, who speaks only in advertising jingles of the 1970s. Weren’t they awful!

—I really enjoyed this book. It has a well developed mystery plot line but at the same time reintroduces the reader to Julian, Dick, Anne and George. They are all grown up but still so recognisable. We have Anne with her helicopter parenting and quirky twins, Julian and his superior attitudes, Dick, who at last has a chance of romance and George who hasn’t changed much at all – or has she? I particularly liked the nostalgic references to 1970s culture, including some dodgy police techniques and a political scandal for Thatcher’s government…

—It was a such a joy to be reacquainted with some old friends and find out what they had been up to over the years gone by. A definite must for anyone who enjoyed the tales of a certain five when they were younger. I very much enjoyed the historical popular culture references…I loved it so much I bought a paperback copy to keep too.

—Bought this for my Mum because she always liked the kids books when she was young. She says it was good she is going to recommend it to her book club as they could do with something a bit more fun. I’m reading it too, as I liked the Famous Five. It is definitely worth a read and really clever. I liked the twin called Johnny, who is Anne’s son, and the way he speaks like adverts from the past. Good plot so far.