The Owl Service centres on three young people (I'm guessing maybe fifteen years old?) living in an ancient house in Wales. Alison owns the house; Roger is her stepbrother, Gwyn is the housekeeper's son. One day, they find a stack of plates in the attic, a dinner service with an owl pattern on it. Increasingly weird shit begins to happen (in a very matter-of-fact and understated way), and it soon becomes clear that one of the tragic stories of the Mabinogion is acting itself out - the story of the woman made out of flowers.
It's very much a book about class, which is, I think, my main reason for three-starring it: it feels overwhelmingly like an Issues Book, one of those books you read at school which dresses up an Issue in the trappings of narrative. It's about Welsh people being priced out of Wales because it's so picturesque that bankers from Birmingham will pay more to live there. It's about the privileged simply not being aware of the struggles of those less privileged; it's about Alison being taught about their struggles, which is why it feels so didactic.
It also doesn't feel terribly magical: myth being woven into the real world is like my catnip, but for some reason The Owl Service failed to grab me. I think I just felt that the characters weren't terribly fleshed out - and it really annoyed me how Roger and Gwyn treated Alison like someone weaker than they. (I particularly wanted Gwyn to stop calling Alison "girlie", which felt predatory and patronising.)
OK, but not my favourite.