This book is the sequel to The War That Saved My Life. It is also a fantastic standalone story, providing enough background information from the first book that you won't be lost if you are reading this book first. As you begin, the story seems strangely hollow. There is plenty of detail, but it's as if somehow the emotion is missing. Then, as you work your way through the story, the level of depth and emotion grows and develops into an enthralling and moving story that will have you both laughing and crying. As I neared the end of the story I realized that the author may have purposefully built her story in this manner—devoid of emotion at the beginning and then full of emotion by the end—as a way to express the main character's emotional development, to more fully represent the impact her various experiences have had on her life. I have never in my life read a book (adult or childrens') that so fully represents how trauma can impact someone's life—wound someone's soul—and how love can slowly heal that soul. This extremely complicated issue is so wonderfully expressed in such a palatable and understandable way that it is intriguing and enlightening for readers of all ages. I would recommend this book to anyone (EVERYONE!), but it is DEFINITELY a must-read for anyone interested in juvenile historical fiction.
Reviewed by Miss Allison