Sunday, December 5, 2010


Pages: 468
Date: 05/12/2010
Grade: 5
Details: Large Print Edition

A beautiful, shocking and disturbing story, which only slowly reveals what exactly is going on.
This book raises some ethical questions that it is worth thinking about and for which easy answers don't exist.
It is also next to impossible to describe the story without giving to much away.
The story is told by Kathy, who aged 31, looks back on her childhood spend at Hailsham, a boarding school where she and other kids live for the first 16 years of their lives. Life at the school is mostly good and what you would expect of a private school, except that the reader soon discovers that there are subtle differences. None of the kids appear to have or ever have had parents and there is little or no contact with the outside world. Their contacts with adults is mostly limited to their teachers, who are called Guardians. The kids are aware that they are being prepared for something and that there is a lot they are not being told.
In this otherworldly atmosphere some things are very recognizable though, like the friendships the kids develop and the ups and downs these relationships go through, the jealousies, fights and reconciliations.
Kathy hasn't really thought about her past at the school for years when she is reunited with her old friends, Ruth and Tommy. But then it all comes back to her and as she shares her memories of how she went from innocent to semi understanding, the true horror of the story reveals itself to the reader. But it is in Kathy's present that both she and the reader get a real insight into the horror of her and her friend's lives.
The ease with which I read this story is in stark contrast to the subject matter, but that is one of the reasons this book is so special.It was only after I finished the book and thought about it for a while that the shocking truth of the story hit me fully.

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