Today’s review is on a book recommended by Katja and I’m so glad I read this book! It was very interesting to compare thoughts on the story and I actually surprised myself by how strongly I felt about certain aspects of the story.
Okay, so this story is set in WWII England…already not my favorite setting, because if I’m reading World War Two, I want it to be set in America, the South Pacific or in a country where the fighting is actually going on in Europe. (I know England was being bombed, and that is shown in the story, but I mean an occupied country, or Germany.) 😉
But Dym!!!!! Oh! I love that boy so much! Dym is one of the main characters, Max is the other (even though they switch to calling him Tony early on, I will never call that boy Tony, lol! Max suits him). Dym is a flying officer in the RAF (Royal Air Force, but I rarely hear them called by the full title 😉) and is determined to find his little brother who was kidnapped years before. Enter Max, kinapped by Norweigians as they escape the Nazis. Max is the son of a Nazi and a bit of a pest to them, so they decided to bring him along to teach him a lesson. Cue my first round of righteous indignation over kidnapping a child…
Turns out that Max is the long lost Tony Engleford. And convincing him and me of that fact was not easy. I grieved for the child, because, to be honest, I thought he handled himself pretty mildly under the circumstances. If I were an unsaved child, I probably would have been an utter terror to people whom I believed had taken me away from my parents and homeland and whom I viewed as the enemy. He missed the woman he believed was his mother and felt trapped and hated by those around him. Even though he belonged in England with his true family, I think the whole thing was traumatic, frieghtening and I hope this isn’t a true story.
That being said, I loved the relationship between Dym and Max. And Dym at the end of the story made me so happy and literally is the main reason I gave this book 4 stars. Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent story, but because I was so frustrated with certain secondary characters and some of the author’s opinions, I was tempted to give it a 3. But as I said, Dym redeemed it all in the end. It had the perfect ending and I really want to read it again!
Most of my dislikes of the story are steeped in my not understanding British cultrure. To me, they seem cold and indifferent at times, but to them, it’s normal life. A dear friend with more knowledge on the subject was able to clear up a few things for me and if not for her, I probably would have stopped reading from pure shock. But I’m so glad I didn’t and I highly recommend giving this book a try!
One warning I would give is that there is a word in the story that over here, is a dirty word. In England, at that time, it was not. But even so, I think parents should be forewarned before allowing your young readers to read it on their own. (For more information, please contanct us!) In context of the era and location, the word is harmless, but confusion may insue as it certainly did for me!
Favorite Parts: Anything with Dym and Max! Personally, I wish the whole story had solely been about the two of them! Their scenes were the best. Especially the end!
Least Favorite Parts: Anything with Ginger, Porgy, Margaret or the twins. And the evacuees.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, once I got the hang of the cultrural aspects. I wish the Christian connections in the story had been a little stronger, and there is not a gospel message, but I certainly will be recommending this to WWII fans in the future! It made my top 5 for the year so far! Like I said, the ending is golden.
Quote (I can pretty much only use this one, because the others give away too much about the story, lol!)
“You have no right to—”
“To what?” the captain asked, very gently.
“To turn me into an Englishman—” He could make no further sound; the sentence quivered into nothing.
Christian. American. Southern. Author.