‘”You have a whole wing of the house to yourselves. The glorious world outside to play in. All that the earth brings forth to feed you, and you stand there asking foolish questions until my head reels. Help yourselves, children, help yourselves.” Then, flapping her cloak as if to shoo off a clutter of chickens, Great Aunt Dymphna was gone.’
Summer will be different for the Gareth children this year. Their father, an epidemiologist, is ill abroad, and their mother must go to help him. So Alex, Penny, Naomi and Robin are sent to Ireland to stay with an eccentric distant relative.
Great Aunt Dymphna is like nobody they’ve ever met. She lives in a ramshackle house, quotes swathes of poetry and flits about like a great bat. And, to the children’s consternation, she expects them to fend for themselves. Despite tears and many mishaps, they learn something new every day, and living with Great Aunt Dymphna becomes an adventure.