Scotland, 1915. A group of teenagers from two families meet for a picnic, but the war across the Channel is soon to tear them away from such youthful pleasures.
All too soon, the horror of what is to become known as The Great War engulfs them, their friends and the whole village.
From the horror of the trenches, to the devastating reality seen daily by those nursing the wounded, they struggle to survive - and nothing will ever be the same again.
A powerful and engrossing novel about love and war, from Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
- Publication Date: 02/01/2003
- Category: Adventure
- ISBN: 9780552547383
- EPUB from £2.99
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Review by DubaiReader
Wonderful Audio CD version of the book.I was completely bowled over by the Audio version of this book (sadly, abridged). It was so tastefully written and so beautifully read by Frances Thorburn and Gary Bakewell. I shall definitely keep this to listen to again and intend to read the full written version at some time too. The five main characters are aged bewteen 14 and 23 at the time of WWI, The Great War. We meet them as the guns of war are starting to be heard over the chanel, yet picnics on a sunny day are still a glorious option. All five react differently to the impending changes, Francis rejects war as a solution, arguing comprehensively against the whole idea, yet ultimately under pressure to make the ultimate sacrifice. His sister Charlotte, and her friend, Maggie, take the opportunity to leave the confines of traditional women's roles to help with the injured, while Maggie's brothers, Alex and John Malcom, are desperate to fight alongside the other boys of the village in the support of a just cause. Within this range of five characters is woven an extensive range of view points and responses to the war, add to this the trauma of the parents left behind and the whole becomes beautifully evocative of the effects of war on a small village. It was startling how little folks back home knew about what was really going on and how wasteful and tragic the whole exercise was. Of course we are familiar with all this now but it doesn't hurt to be reminded from time to time. I'll admit, it made me cry, always a sign of a good book! Highly recommended.