Author: Victoria Walker
Narrator: Kim Bretton
Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes
Publisher: Victoria Clayton Limited
Series: Sebastian and Melissa, Book 1
Released: Jun. 15, 2020
Genre: Fantasy; Children’s
A magic mirror enables Sebastian to travel from his Victorian world of winter snow and Mrs Parkin to a magic world of Melissa, Mantari, and wicked Enchanter and many other exciting people. This wonderful audiobook follows in the great tradition of the E. Nesbit magic books. Since its first publication in 1969 it has proved its appeal to children of every age. Long out of print until republished by Fidra Books in the UK and Purple House Press in the USA, it received praise from respected children’s authors. The sequel to this book is called The House Called Hadlows.
Victoria Walker was twenty-one when she wrote The Winter of Enchantment in 1968. A second story about Sebastian and Melissa, The House Called Hadlows, was published in 1972. In 1973 she went to Cambridge University to read English and married immediately after finishing her degree. Two children followed and two decades passed before she began to write under her married name of Victoria Clayton. She lives with her husband in Northamptonshire.
Kim is an accomplished and award winning actress and director with West End/Broadway theatre credits. Kim has narrated over 35 audiobooks and counting. She is also an in demand voice over talent in the commercial and corporate arena and owns her own class A recording studio in Nashville. Kim is from the UK but has lived in NYC, L.A. and now Nashville TN. She continues to work in Theatre, Film and TV as an actress and a director alongside narrating audiobooks and commercial voice overs.Gah! Why have I not read this book before?! How has it evaded me! But it must’ve been meant for me to listen to the audiobook of this one, because it’s honestly the perfect book to have narrated to you. It is truly the perfect book to snuggle up under some blankets with a hot cocoa (or a PSL given the season) and a chill in the air as you listen to this delightful audiobook. I know that probably sounds cheesy but it’s just one of those books that gives you nostalgia for childhood and demands that level of comfort.
So I know I’m new to audiobooks, but this one has been the best one yet! It was equal parts the delightfully vivid story and the perfect narrator. And I might be just a sucker for a British accent, but I just found it so soothing and almost whimsical to listen to. Which fit perfectly into the magic of this story. The fact that this book is geared towards a younger audience also makes listening to it make that much more sense. This is a story that you could easily find yourself reading aloud to kids and getting the chance to have it read aloud to you as an adult makes it even more exciting.
The one thing I love about this book was how lush and whimsical the writing is. This is a classic children’s book and I’ve always been particularly fond of them, so I just knew that this would be a new addition to my favorites pile. It’s one of those books you can pick up time and time again and thoroughly enjoy it all over again.
By Narrator Kim BrettonI’ve wanted to narrate audiobooks for as long as I can remember. But I’ve always been too busy. Either performing in a play, writing a play or directing a play, doing countless commercials, TV jobs and voiceover work and also bringing up my son. But in March 2019 I found myself sat in the studio (we have a studio as my husband is in the music biz) trying to work out how to actually record myself and get started. Technical stuff in the bag I booked my first audiobook. And I LOVED it. At that point I decided that I wanted to do 50 books in my first year, I was going to turn down acting and directing work and I also wanted The Winter Of Enchantment – my most treasured book from my childhood to be one of those 50. No mean feat. The Winter of Enchantment was that book that all us readers have that turned me on to reading. I found it in the bargain bin in our local supermarket in the early 80s for 25 pence and read it that very afternoon. I couldn’t put it down. It weaved its way into my heart and it’s been there ever since. I even read to my son when he was 5. I’d never known anyone else who had heard of it until 2005 when I was packing up my belonging to move from London to NYC. On a whim I googled the book – not really sure why. I was stunned to find out that my tattered old copy was worth over $800! It turns out I wasn’t the only person who was enamored with the book. Both Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman both had said it was one of their favorites childhood books and had recently blogged about it. The reason it was so valuable was because it was out of print and fans of Neil and Garth wanted to read the book that had meant so much to them growing up. It was at this point I realized there was a sequel to The Winter Of Enchantment called The House Called Hadlows. I went on ebay to see if I could get a copy but at 500 – 800 quid I gave up. Fast forward to April 2019 and my new found mission to record it as an audiobook. I had some work to do to track down Victoria Walker. I found out that there had been a reprinting of the books a few years ago due to the demand Neil and Garth had caused. I contacted those publishers and received no response. So I just got on with my task at hand – to do 50 audiobooks in a year. It was going great. Every time I start a new book I open a folder for my notes, research, rough files, character files and mastered audio files and I always name each folder the running total number, then the title of the book. I was busy clocking up my 50 and loving every second. In February this year I suddenly remembered my pledge to do Winter Of Enchantment I decided to attempt to find Victoria again. I found the publisher for a reprint that was based in Kentucky and I called them. I had a lovely chat with the fella on the phone and he told me they no longer had the rights but if I was to write a letter and send it to him then he would get it to the current rights holder for me. So I did. Three weeks later I got an email from Victoria’s husband. After a brief email exchange he said that Victoria would be delighted for me to narrate both Winter of Enchantment and the house called Hadlows. I had a smile on my face for three days that was impossible to shift. When all the contracts were signed and I had finished the three books I had already in my schedule I began The Winter of Enchantment by opening up a new folder. The folders name – “50 The Winter Of Enchantment” And the date April 17th 2020.
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*I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kim Bretton. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.*