24 July 2008

Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven. Jane Bailey

Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven. Jane Bailey. Really enjoyed this book. Little girl is sent out of London to the country during WWII, and proceeds to turn the town upside down. Wonderful twists; wonderful understanding of human nature and secrets and loves and hates and guilt. Really enjoyed this.

I really, really enjoyed this book. The basic plot is Kitty Green is sent to live in a little village to avoid the bombing of London in WWII. She doesn't want to be there (what 8 year wants to be away from family and live with strangers?) and its pretty obvious that the couple she's staying with don't really want her there either. Kitty manages to upset a lot of people - her language, her manners, her poking into things that don't concern her. Along the way she becomes friends with Tommy Glover, a boy from the local orphanage; and again she manages to uncover things that have been hidden a long time.

Just a note: the first page of this book reads a little strangely; by the second page you've forgotten all about it; and by the end of the book it makes perfect sense.

What I enjoyed about Kitty (and the book is written from her point of view) is that she is basically unaware of her impact on the individuals and the town. She's just a rather extroverted kid trying to cope with being in a strange situation.

When I was six I lived with my grandparents for a year. One of the things this book captured for me was the issues that distance and time cause. People change and grow and so do those they love and have left behind. And that often causes awkwardness and broken bonds. In too many books, people don't see each other for years and when they do catch up their relationship is exactly the same as always. Now, I know that can and does happen; but more often it doesn't. Particularly, I think, with children who change at such a rapid rate.

I will definitely be looking out for more books by Jane Bailey. Such a fine brush with characters. I give this book probably a 9. If I see this book in a second hand book store I would definitely add it to my collection.

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