The Servants is the story of an 11-year-old boy, his mum and stepdad. They've moved from London to Brighton into a house with an old lady living in a tiny flat in the basement. Mark, the boy, accidentally befriends her and she shows him something quite amazing.I love this book for two reasons. First it's a very simple tale told well. Most of the action concerns four characters and takes place in the house. It's told from Mark's pov so the writing is straightforward but that makes it clear, spare and elegant rather than simplistic. Second Smith does that thing of showing us things through the eyes of a character that the character himself does not see, at least at first.