This morning I finished reading (after starting it rather late last night) Carrie's War, by Nina Bawden, which is really good. It's only 159 pages, and I suppose it's technically a kid's book, but it's not quite written like one. They made a Masterpiece Theatre out of it, which was very good, and very close to the book.
It's set during World War II, but the book really isn't that much influenced by the war. Really the whole premise of it depends on the war, since the children are sent away from London to avoid the bombing, but otherwise you don't hear much about it. I suppose this makes sense as it's told by children, and children can get used to anything, and because it's set in a tiny town in
It's an interesting assortment of characters. None of them are really the sort of stock characters you sometimes get that you see over and over again in different books. Carrie is particularly human. She tries to be good because she's that sort of person, but maybe she isn't always. And she's just growing up, and doesn't realize it. I suppose Albert realizes it. I like Albert. After the end, you can tell something's going to happen there. He's coming this weekend, and Carrie comes through the Grove, and of course they'll meet. But it ends before he comes, and it's left to the imagination. It's probably better that way, I suppose.
All the characters are very original, and this makes the book itself very original despite the countless books about children sent to the country during World War II that I'm sure exist. Mrs. Gotobed is especially interesting, though rather sad. I like that she wears all her pretty dresses, and she knows things, better than Mr. Evans. Mr. Johnny is an interesting addition, and I wonder if he's based on anybody.
It's not quite a happy story, but as it ends you can tell it's getting better.