A vacation on the coast of Wales brings nine-year-old Anna into a domain of mystery, history, and adventure in this winning fantasy. When Anna discovers a curious silver pencil which writes automatically, she is initiated into her grandfather's world, a world of smugglers, and brave seafaring men. Operating as an instrument of the pencil, Anna participates in a rescue which links her in a responsible capacity to the present as well as to the past, and when, at the end of her vacation, the pencil is relinquished to a family portrait, it is with a sense of wonder, gratitude and nostalgia. Patricia Ward's fantasy is prodigal. Poetry and adventure combine here in a story to be commended for the complete and convincing world it evokes.