The Changes Trilogy: The Weathermonger, Heartsease, and The Devil's Children (The Changes Trilogy, Books 1-3)
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Gripped by a strange fear, England closes its doors to the outside world.
Something has gone very wrong in England. In a tunnel beneath Wales one man opens a crack in a mysterious stone wall, and all over the island of Britain people react with horror to perfectly normal machines. Abandoning their cars on the roads and destroying their own factories, many flee the cities for the countryside, where they return to farming and an old-fashioned life.
When families are split apart and grown-ups forget how they used to live, young people face unexpected challenges. Nicola Gore survives on her own for nineteen days before she’s taken in by a Sikh family that still remembers how to farm and forge steel by hand. Margaret and Jonathan brave the cold and risk terrible punishment in order to save a man’s life and lift the fog of fear and hate that’s smothering their village. And Geoffrey and his little sister, Sally, escape to France only to be sent back to England on a vital mission: to make their way north to Wales, alone, and find the thing under the stones that shattered civilization—the source of the Changes.
convulsions? Chapter 1 THE ISLAND He woke up suddenly, as if from a deep sleep full of unrecoverable dreams. He was very uncomfortable. The light was too bright, even through closed eyes, and there was something sharp and hard jutting into one of his shoulder blades. His head hurt too. He moved his right arm in search of something familiar, a sheet or a wall, and found a quite different feeling—hundreds of rough, scratchy lumps on a warm but slimy surface, like iron pimples. Familiar,
clutched off his dripping beret and jerked his insolent slouch into respectful attention. He spoke politely. “I’ve brought two new immigrés to see you, Monsieur Pallieu. They’re kids.” “Diable!” said one voice. “Thank you, Ralph,” said another. “Let them come in.” The room was extremely hot, and smelled of dust, paper, gasfire, wet umbrellas and people. There were two men in it, a small gray gentleman who didn’t look like anyone in particular and introduced himself as M. Pallieu; and a larger
wedge of the tower blanked out a huge slice of stars. They waited for it to fall. It came down quite slowly. First there were three grunting spasms, all together, and a section of the outer wall over to their right fell with a gravelly roar into the ditch, taking the timber store with it. Then they saw the ground in that direction humping itself up into a wave which came grinding across the courtyard, six feet high, throwing off a spume of cobbles in the moonlight. They stood up. Sally turned
them but he’d taken time off to swing on a low branch of one of the cemetery pines; now he jumped down, picked up his long stick, put his thumb in his mouth and stood watching her sulkily. Margaret said good morning to him as she rode on, but he didn’t answer. For the first time she realized how suspicious everybody was nowadays—suspicious of strangers, suspicious of neighbors. Anyone could betray you. Perhaps other villages were different—friendly and easy—but this village was like a bitch with
something, and an oily hand gestured at the dial. Margaret nodded, beckoned and pointed forward. Lucy shrugged and left her post. “Sorry,” said Margaret as her head poked out of the hatch. “Jo wants Tim to bring Otto on deck.” Lucy nodded and stared across the choppy estuary. “Shouldn’t fancy living in these parts,” she said. “I’ll wake Tim.” Margaret found the dustpan and brush and swept out the wheelhouse. When she threw the last splinters overboard she saw that they’d finished with hedges