Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, War, Young Adult
From the Children’s Laureate of England, a stunning novel of the First World War, a boy who is on its front lines, and a childhood remembered.
“They’ve gone now, and I’m alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won’t waste a single moment of it . . . I want tonight to be long, as long as my life . . .” For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly, the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.
I’ve owned this book for years however for whatever reason I’ve just not picked it up. Well enough is enough, I have finally picked it up!
It’s a relatively short book at less than 200 pages however it is an emotional story. We follow the story of Thomas “Tommo”, in love with his brother’s girl and eventually going off to war to prove he isn’t a coward. We follow his life counting down to some unknown event, Tommo tells us the story of how he got in the middle of a battlefield.
Admittedly I didn’t love it, I felt like the story could have been developed however I think the book is mainly set for younger children so I can understand why it was written this way. I do think the book would have been a lot better though if Tommo’s early life was explained in greater detail.
However I think the description of the battlefield and the living conditions during this time were so vivid. Again it could have been greater developed but I think this section was still vivid enough with the limited description.
There were some moments where I felt a little emotional however not enough to actually make me cry…then I got to the end…wow. In the space of like 10 pages I was crying. Definitely an emotional ending. If it didn’t have such a great ending the book would have been just meh, I didn’t absolutely love it, I had nothing pulling me to finish it, it was just an ok story. However the ending definitely made it worth it!
Definitely recommend it for people who like war stories and definitely one if you like emotional reads, you will need tissues at the end of this book! It is only a short read and you will absolutely fly through it.
Summing up: A war story with an emotional ending