BY ANDREW MOTION (Cape £12.99)

Poet Andrew Motion

Silver: Return To Treasure Island by Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion’ s elegant, thrilling sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure opens on the misty, marshy riverbanks of the Thames.

Young Jim Hawkins has grown up listening to his irascible father’s adventurous tales of treasure and treachery on the high seas, but his own inclination is for the calmer pleasures of the natural world of the estuary. That is, until the arrival of the mysterious, intriguing Natty, the teenage daughter of the wrecked, charismatic Long John Silver, who is determined to recover the remaining booty from the Island.

Hawkins Junior duly steals the treasure map from his unsuspecting father, and sets sail on the journey that will transform his life, morally and emotionally. The plot is gripping, a mixture of high adventure, low cunning and desperation, as noble sailors, pirates and the corrupt, debauched maroons of Stevenson’s tale battle it out physically and ideologically. Motion’s prose, vivid and glowingly poetic, is a brilliant counterpoint to the fascinating action.