wilderthan: ((Books) Stack)
[personal profile] wilderthan
Reading this book was rather distracting, since some other English Lit student had helpfully annotated it before me. Comments like "she takes refuge in household tasks" and "here gender roles are reasserted" are rather irritating when you're trying to read a book as a child. Carrie's War is set during the World War, and contains little details that place it well in that time -- the gas masks, the trains, the rationing -- in a way that's pretty matter-of-fact. Not "ooh look at me I'm historical fiction", but "this is a story that happens to be set in the World War". I liked the way it was framed by the adult Carrie and her children -- there's realism in the sense of continuity.

It's also very obviously a more modern children's story, since there isn't some big moral front and centre. There's some subtlety in the characters -- you feel a little sorry for Mr Evans, even if he doesn't come across as a very nice man.

And even though it's quite matter-of-fact and realistic, there is magic in it -- in Hepzibah, and in the strange names, and in the Grove and the fragment of skull. Enough that children can find something slightly otherworldly in it, if they want to. I always found magic everywhere like that when I was Carrie and Nick's age.


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October 2013

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