The Power Of Kindness
When The War Came Home by Lesley Parr is a charming historical YA novel set after World War I. It is a story that will delight and entertain you whatever your age.
The novel is written in the first person from the point of view of twelve year old Natty. The reader gets inside her head as her thoughts become our thoughts.
World War I blighted families. Many lost loved ones. Many were injured but not all scars could be seen. “The war took him away… And it gave him back, only not every part of him.” Many returned with what we would now diagnose as PTSD. Young men in their prime who were suffering from shell shock were not always understood by those around them. There are some very upsetting scenes to read as a character returns to the battlefield in his mind. “The war ended ages ago… But we bring it all home… What happened on those battlefields never really leaves us.”
Close friendships were formed in war. Those friendships kept each other going but “no words are big enough. Because what do you say when someone tells you their best friend is gone?” Loss cuts deeply. Not everyone who went to war came home – some left physical bodies behind, others remained on the battlefield in their minds.
The years following World War I were those of change in Britain. We hear about the suffragettes and also lawful strikes as ways to bring about change.
There was much poverty too. It is hard to see children suffer through lack of food. Likewise the cruelty of the school master is hard to stomach.
It is beautiful to watch new friendships form and lives changed through kindness.
When The War Came Home was a compulsive read that I thoroughly enjoyed and read it through in just one sitting.