Letters from the Lighthouse: ‘THE QUEEN OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Guardian: 1

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Letters from the Lighthouse: ‘THE QUEEN OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Guardian: 1

Letters from the Lighthouse: ‘THE QUEEN OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Guardian: 1

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Twists, turns, coded messages and conflicts prevail in this beautifully pitched story that provides a fine balance between sensitivity and adventure. Let me start by saying that I have adored every book written by Emma Carroll, but this is my new favourite. I’ve read other historical fiction set during WW2 but Emma Carroll includes facts that I hadn’t heard before. Along with her younger brother, Cliff, Olive is evacuated to the Devonshire town of Budmouth Point with no answer as to what happened to her older sister.

I am sick and tired of the "mean girl becomes your bestie" trope that plagues contemporary kids' fiction.The treatment of Jewish people during the war is covered with sensitivity; through the eyes of open-minded, relatable characters, children reading this book are able to gain an insight into prejudice and the power of their voice when speaking out against it. This one is different as it is more than narrating what it was like for these children, having to leave their families behind, to be - not always voluntarily and happily but more begrudgingly - taken in by strangers in the country side; it turns into a full-blown mystery involving code-cracking and a major rescue operation. Letters from the Lighthouse is Emma’s sixth novel; she has also written the highly-acclaimed Frost Hollow Hall, The Girl Who Walked on Air, In Darkling Wood, The Snow Sister and Strange Star. Letters from the Lighthouse has a unique plot which I personally think Emma Carroll has succeeded in to make it a bestseller. An inquisitive and caring protagonist, supported by a wonderful cast of secondary characters, makes this an engaging and appealing historical fiction that young readers, and in particular fans of books such as Good Night Mr Tom and The War That Saved My Life, will treasure.

I recently read this book for the second time, as it was one of a selection being used in school for a “War Fiction” topic. Home to William Golding, Sylvia Plath, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sally Rooney, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Max Porter, Ingrid Persaud, Anna Burns and Rachel Cusk, among many others, Faber is proud to publish some of the greatest novelists from the early twentieth century to today.

Her older sister Sukie went missing in an air raid, and she’s sesperate to discover what happened to her. My favourite character was Sukie because she really wants to help with this plan to save people, who live in other countries where the war is really bad. I had lots of different opinions throughout the book about what was going on and my predictions must have changes at least ten times. She let Esther stay at her house because she was sympathetic towards this child who had been through some very difficult experiences. The story was amazing with a happy ending and it hooked me in very well, I kept reading the WHOLE day on Sunday because it was sooooo good.

Letters from the Lighthouse starts off with relatively few characters, but the number increases steadily as the book progresses, resulting in quite a few by the end. The book was quite grabbing for me and I would definitely recommend this book to other people who like history like me. You guys are such a force for good and I am a passionate supporter of Indie booksellers, so I'm so happy this worked out well (I'd love to know how many books were sold if you have it to hand - it felt like quite a lot! I read through the book beforehand and then timed my teaching to coincide with the book so that my children were able to better visualise what I was teaching them.I only post positive reviews, if I don't like a book or cannot imagine it being one that I would recommend to a readership group whose interests differ from my own, I don't post a review. The children are evacuated from London to the countryside and it’s there where young Olive and her brother Cliff will plunge into a mysterious, rollercoaster of an adventure to be reunited with their sister.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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