Frost at Morning

Richmal Crompton

20 April 2017
318 pages


Frost at Morning is the heartbreaking story of four young children who, deserted by their parents, have been sent off to a vicarage that takes in children as paying guests.

There's Philip, a sensitive boy whose father has remarried and gained a more preferable stepson; anxious little Monica, with a mother spiralling towards alcoholism; adopted Geraldine, whose desperate desire be loved actively repels people; and beautiful, vain Angela, who is ignored by her eccentric novelist mother. Left to themselves they grow to depend on one another and, as they leave the vicarage and return to their fractured homes, it becomes clear that a bond has formed that will hold them forever. . .

As the years pass, their adult lives connect and intertwine, and the damage inflicted by their childhoods creeps ever closer to the surface. Can they build themselves anew? Or will happiness elude them forever?

An exquisitely written and poignant story, Richmal Crompton's Frost at Morning is a wonderful exploration of childhood and an evocative portrait of interwar Britain.

Miss Crompton is a master-hand at child characterisation
I don’t think I’ve read a better analysis of child psychology, where someone has been so thoroughly able to capture the terrible paralysing helplessness of children