“The Apple of Trouble” an Armitage Family story

Read a taster of an aptly named story from ‘The Serial Garden’

by Joan Aiken at Virago



….Mark is persuaded to make an exchange with the little man who makes off at top speed on the brand new bicycle – unfortunately this was a present from Great-Uncle Gavin who has come to look after Mark and his sister Harriet while Mr and Mrs Armitage take a much needed holiday…

Uncle Gavin nearly bursts a blood vessel when he hears… “Did what? Merciful providence – an apple?…Where is it?”

SerialApple3SerialApple4SerialApple5How are Mark and Harriet going to get rid of these Un-Friendly ladies before they avenge themselves on Great-uncle Gavin? Just one of the many adventures that befall Joan Aiken’s Armitage Family, usually on a Monday, but sometimes on other days too.. wonderfully illustrated by Peter Bailey

7 Page 175

Wonder how they do?

This and all the stories about the extraordinary Armitage family are in

The Serial Garden

Now published by Virago Modern Classics

Click to visit the website and see this and the US edition

read a complete story, plus Lizza’s introduction telling how Joan came to write these delightfully crazy  stories



6 thoughts on ““The Apple of Trouble” an Armitage Family story

  1. I’m sold. What a great concept! One single apple, falling through time as the cause of so many troubles. i think the Erinyes appear in Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles — equally menacing.


  2. Yes, they have been around almost as long as the apple – helping avenge injustice down in the Underworld of Hades and Persephone, or in Joan’s imagination turning up on the doorstep to sort out wrongdoers! Be careful what you imagine?!


  3. Pingback: All Best Wishes… | Joan Aiken

  4. This was, for me, one of the ‘scarier’ Armitage stories — yes, I know things’ll work out in the end (won’t they, won’t they?!) but there’s a genuine sense of menace throughout. Brilliant!


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