Tess and her brother Max have been sent to stay with their Aunt Evie in a tiny village in the English countryside as their father has been deployed to Afghanistan.
One day Tess goes off exploring the countryside and comes across a very old and ornate garden gate. There is no way of opening it but then she sees a piece of metal glinting in the sand. Tess pulls it out of the sand and carefully opens the garden gate with the brass key. A boy around her age is waiting in the garden and doesn’t seem the slightest bit surprised to see her. He just introduces himself as William and shows her around the castle grounds. When Tess leaves the garden through the gate it seems to suddenly change as if it were older and overgrown with climbing plants. William tells her to keep the brass key as otherwise she will not find the entrance again.
Tess goes to visit again and takes Max with her. They find William waiting in the same place and the three of them go on a magical journey involving carousels which seem to change into real horses; winding mazes to get lost in and a very strange game of miniature golf.
A lovely read for 8 – 12 year olds.