Diana Wynne Jones Wiki
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Closti the Clam is the father of the main characters in The Spellcoats. He lives on the banks of the great river in the village of Skelling, in prehistoric Dalemark, where he fishes and farms in peace. His wife, who came from outside the village, died or left a few years before the events of the novel begins. Closti doesn't talk much about her, or in fact about much else -- he's a quiet man, with hidden emotions, and the name "clam" describes him well.

Closti dies quite early in the novel, when he and his oldest son Gull are selected to go with the King's Army off to war with the Heathen. Gull is brought back home after months away, but the one who brings him back tells the family that Closti died of his wounds out on a battlefield somewhere.

The unusual nature of Closti's family only becomes apparent during the course of the novel, as a series of highly unusual events begin happening to them as the four orphaned children are expelled from their village by the suspicious villagers during the annual floods. By the end, we've learned much more about Closti's history, and the history behind the three household gods the four children are able to take with them in their boat as they flee for their lives.

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