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on Sep. 24, 2016 :
When I was recommended the book by a friend I wondered if I would like a novel about the end of World War I. I knew a few facts about it but it was never high on my agenda. Nonetheless I was curious because the book was written from the viewpoint of a 15-year old Belgian girl which struck me as rather unusual and intriguing. I was gripped by the story after only a few pages. The characters are very well developed and many of them are likeable and I wanted to know what was going to happen to them. The scenery is so vividly described that I could imagine the surroundings almost as if I was there. Even though the topic of the First World War is not an uplifting one and the characters of the novel experienced great hardship, the reader witnesses a sense of resilience and a will to go forward after the war, to create a new world from the ruins of the war. Suzanne the main character from whose viewpoint the novel is told is the greatest example of positive energy and as a girl has to overcome prejudices that are even nowadays not quite eradicated. She is aware of the limitations women are met with at the time and challenges them in a very realistic way as the role of women in general was changing in the postwar society. Apart from the story I was also amazed by the detailed knowledge the author has on the topic and with which the book would not ring so true as a representation of what it would have been like for a 15 year old girl to spend her forming years during and after World War I.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)
on Sep. 12, 2015 :
An enthralling story. It made me realise how little I knew about what happened AFTER the First World War and the story really brought this period to life. I do hope Ms Blethyn will write the sequel soon. I do want to know what happens next. I would think this an excellent introduction to the subject of War for teenage kids, but as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed the story, as I do Michael Morpurgo.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 23, 2015 :
I have thoroughly enjoyed the reading about Suzanne and her family and have been captivated by the situation they found themselves in after the war. I want to learn more about what happens to them all. Don't keep me in suspense Verity!
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)