A Breath of Moonscent

(5 customer reviews)


Paperback 129mm x 198mm x 12mm 240 pages

ISBN: 978-1-911438-60-1

In stock


A true story of a London child growing up in the wilds of Devon in WWII.

A lyrical memoir of wartime and post-war rural Devon seen through the questing eyes of a young boy.
This is the true story of a family swept from suburban Surrey to the wilds of Devon. A father rejected by the draft, a housewife driven by circumstance from her modern home to one of wells and oil lamps, vast open fireplaces, and thick cob walls.
Allan takes us with him as he explores an eternal river threading through a verdant Devon Valley to the distant sea, conjuring up the bucolic landscape, and people, in vivid prose, with tenderness and humour.
We meet Italian POW’s, beguiling Land Army girls, and Yankee GI’s. We witness the lives of myriad creatures, some glimpsed in rugged wildwood, others familiar yet equally fascinating. Belligerent rams, injured birds, homing pigeons, cats, dogs…
A Breath of Moonscent’ brings to life a time and place which is within living memory for many, yet now becoming increasingly distant and alien for most. A voice of lives now fading whispers and rhapsodic dreams.

“Allan Boxall portrays in words what James Ravilious achieved in images.”
Liz Shakespeare.”


5 reviews for A Breath of Moonscent

  1. Jan Roberts (verified owner)

    I bought this for a holiday read but it didn’t make it! This is a well written story full of descriptive vocabulary which really conjures up vivid images of characters, scenery and events. The reader cannot resist a smile at the antics of Allan and Trevor. Real boys adventures without the trappings of technology and lack of freedom which has taken over today. A range of emotions is evident in the story. A well recommended read!

  2. Kevin Hutchings

    This is a beautifully written book, easy to read yet with a depth of feeling. Allan brings a sense of place through his almost poetic desriptive writing. It is particularly poignant to me as I grew up in the village where Allan went to school. His writing brings back memories of people and place. I also appreciate his honesty about himself which reflects our human condition.

  3. Mel and Carol Gale (verified owner)

    My wife and I have been fortunate enough to live thirty years to date, in the Rose Cottage that was Allan’s home during part of his formative years. His wonderfully descriptive writing takes one by the hand and leads you through this beautiful part of Devon. I can follow Allan and his friend’s forays through a landscape that has become so familiar to us over time. The episode with the heavy cart wheel I could follow up through Halsdon Woods (now a nature reserve) to the trees where they launched it on a fearsome trajectory. Quite a feat for it is a steep and tangled route for two young lads. Thank you Allan a most enjoyable read.

  4. Anne Beer

    Thank you Allan for bringing back to life that which is now lost.
    I was heaving and sweating alongside your description of manouvering that awkward heavy cart wheel, you made me feel as if I was there, so much so, that I forgot where I was, so engrossed was I!
    My husband was a broad Devonian with accent to match and you have captured the dialect perfectly.

  5. Rorie (verified owner)

    Moonscent is full of Huck Finn style adventures and lyrical descriptions of growing up in Devon during and after the war. It is a great antitdote to the difficult difficut times we live in now. Allan Boxall is a gifted writer and Moonscent deserves to be widely read.

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