Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne is a powerful YA historical novel set during World War I.
The reader follows five year old Alfie at the outbreak of war. The book is told in the third person but from his point of view.
Alfie is wise and brave beyond his years, recognising that he is the man of the family when his father leaves for war. He understands far more than the adults around him give him credit for.
With the men away at war and no welfare state, money is tight. Women have to have several jobs just to survive. Alfie does what he can to help.
We witness the impact of war on a community. The losses are felt by all, as the families dread the sight of telegrams or officers knocking on their door. Alfie’s mother wants to protect him and does not tell him the whole story about his father. This creates even more anxiety in him.Continue reading