‘Peter Pan in Scarlet’ by Geraldine McCaughrean *****

‘Peter Pan in Scarlet’ by Geraldine McCaughrean (Oxford University Press)

Peter Pan in Scarlet, published in 2006, is the first official sequel to J.M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan, a firm favourite of mine.  Geraldine McCaughrean was chosen as its author following a worldwide competition run by Great Ormond Street, who receive all of the profits from sales of Peter Pan.  This book, too, raises money for the hospital, a cause close to my heart.

I had not heard of this novel before I spotted it in the Books for Amnesty shop in Brighton, and had I known that it was sold with a charitable donation included, I would have purchased a brand new copy of it.  (I did technically give to charity by buying it, I suppose, but not the one which is specified on this beautiful hardback.)

I was incredibly intrigued to see where McCaughrean would lead the story of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy, John and Michael Darling, and those little Lost Boys.  In the sequel, which begins in 1926, ‘Dreams have been leaking out of Neverland’ and affecting all of the now grown-up men who were once the Lost Boys.  Along with each dream, an object is subsequently found in their beds – for example, a cutlass.  Wendy – or ‘Mrs Wendy’, as she is here – surmises from this that something is wrong in her beloved Neverland, and that she and the Lost Boys must return in order to assist Peter.

Throughout, McCaughrean echoes the style of the original book beautifully, and she is very faithful to Barrie’s prose techniques.  The story which she creates is so inventive, and it follows on from the original marvellously.  Her writing is just darling.  As a die-hard Peter Pan fan, I could not have hoped for a better sequel.  McCaughrean has delivered a great adventure, and has made it as true to the original as was possible.  Peter Pan in Scarlet comes very highly recommended from this girl, who will never grow up.


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