Absolutely Brilliant And Heartbreaking
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful and heartbreaking historical children’s novel. I happened upon it as my ten year old granddaughter was studying it at school. It appealed to both the historian and the fiction-lover in me.
Michael Morpurgo is a masterful story-teller. He writes Private Peaceful in the first person with the result that the story feels very personal to the reader. As we read, we are on a countdown through the night with the memories of seventeen year old Tommo.
We witness the desire to know that heaven exists. “I want to believe there’s a heaven… that death is not a full stop, and that we will all see one another again.” Surrounded by death on the battlefield, this is a hope to hold on to.
The Belgium Front was a wasteland where even God seemed absent. “He [God] has long since abandoned this place and all of us who live in it.” The faith of men was shaken. “I could no longer pretend to myself that I believed in a merciful god… I could believe only in the hell I was living in… it was man-made, not God-made.”Continue reading