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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Michael Morpurgo - Private Peaceful

Book review written by Brian Lowen & read live on bookshow 18th Dec 2014
A lovely book this set in the times leading up to the first world war, suitable for adults and children.

The story is told by Thomas Peaceful, sixteen years old, who is holed up in an old barn, somewhere in France, near the front line in the war. He is spending the night here, waiting for the dawn and unable to get to sleep, but we do not know why and what dreadful thing he is waiting for, until the end of the story.

As he lays there, hour by hour, he thinks back over his short life and all the things that have happened to him and his family.

Tommo, as he is known, is the youngest of three children with Charlie as the next up and the oldest is Big Joe who unfortunately is a bit simple and cannot read or write so did not go to school with Tommo and Charlie. Charlie was always one class ahead of Tommo but he always looked out for his younger brother and then Tommo was lucky in palling up with Molly, who he had a big crush on. The three of them had many adventures together on the large estate where they lived. Their Dad was a forester for the Colonel who lived up in the big house and owned the estate, including their small cottage, which was tied to the job.

So, hour by hour, through the night we follow the story until the two boys leave school and get jobs on the estate. When war
breaks out, Charlie is volunteered by the Colonel to enlist in the Infantry. Tommo, not wanting to be separated from his brother, lies about his age and enlists as well.

The story is full of lovely reminiscences and is a joy to read. The characters are all well drawn, and this is an easy to read book.

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