When we first get to know the twins, we learnt that they don’t know who their father is. Since their mother liked Jim Morrison, they thought the singer was their father, and when he died, Rose cried and they did too, thinking that they had lost their father. James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter, and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors. Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage. He died at the age of 27 in Paris. As no autopsy was performed, the exact cause of Morrison’s death is not known.
Most of the action takes place in Suffolk. Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich.
The novel moves between 1972 and 1987. In 1972 Issy is with Ben’s father as they are celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s re-election. The United Kingdom general election of 1987 was held on 11 June 1987, to elect 650 members to the British House of Commons. The election was the third consecutive election victory for the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, who became the first Prime Minister since the 2nd Earl of Liverpool in 1820 to lead a party into three successive election victories.
Issy remembers how her mother was against Thatcher, and she and some other mothers protested against Thatcher’s police to ban milk from schools. The Conservative government had to find substantial cuts to meet election pledges on tax. Removing free school milk for the over seven’s became the most notorious saving introduced. t earned Mrs Thatcher the nickname, Milk Snatcher, and haunted her throughout her career. In 1985 she was refused an honorary degree from Oxford University because of her education cuts.
One of the fantasies that join both pairs of twins was their fear for Black Shuck. Black Shuck, Old Shuck, Old Shock or simply Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Issy remembers when they found a horse, and Michael and John helped her and Viola to ride it. The horse, the horse punch, represents her childhood for Issy, who has a photograph of a similar horse on her noticeboard, and she even makes a donation to the charity that looks after those horses. The Suffolk Punch, also historically known as the Suffolk Horse or Suffolk Sorrel,is an English breed of draught horse. The breed takes the first part of its name from the county of Suffolk in East Anglia, and the name “Punch” from its solid appearance and strength. It is a heavy draught horse which is always chestnut in colour . Suffolk Punches are known as good doers, and tend to have energetic gaits.
Another important element in the book is the martello tower where the children usually go to be alone, and where Polly is last seen. Martello towers, sometimes known simply as Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. Most were coastal forts. The Martello towers were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Many have survived to the present day, often preserved as historic monuments. Forty-seven Martello towers have survived in England, a few of which have been restored and transformed into museums (e.g., the tower at St Osyth), visitor centres, and galleries (such as Jaywick Martello Tower). Some are privately owned or are private residences. The remainder are derelict.