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Mimi, Fortismere

The Bone Sparrow

This novel is brilliant! It highlights the current problem of refugees, while also showing you a child's views of the world, two children in fact. Neither Subhi or Jimmie are well off, both having experienced losses of a different nature, but as the story progresses you see their very different tales channel led in a very similar way: their lost parent's stories. The incredible detail put in by Zana Fraillon makes you not only believe, but also grieve for the deaths and horrors these children face. I, personally enjoy books where the narration is split between characters and the way it was done here is one of the best. Many of the scenes here are almost inconceivable, however, the information at the back of the book assures that the horrific happenings were, and are, similar to real events. The death of the character, or characters, who make the story more lighthearted, or cheerful, is often an occurrence in books, this one included.The beliefs, attitude and emotions of both the main characters changed drastically throughout the story, shows the maturation and growth of all the characters especially Subhi and Jimmie. They show the fear you would expect of people in their situation as well as a bravery you may not expect of people their age. The perseverance of Jimmie to visit Subhi and bring him food is not specifically mentioned or written about, but noticeably there nonetheless. The conversations between them are convincing, due to their surprising similarity to most childrens' interactions, this may not be expected, but makes you realise how young the pair really are. The behaviour and speech of the characters, is consistent but not predictable, as well as reflecting on their bringing up and age. The character's feelings, especially Subhi's, are revealed in a clear way, however it is one that makes you have to think, dialogue shows the thoughts and aspirations of other characters well and in detail, their responses to other's behaviour and speech also does this. The author created mood very effectively and in exceptional detail, using the well linked dialogue and narrative to reveal this to the reader. The atmosphere of the book often changes but in a smooth way that is almost unnoticeable, however contributes enormously to the plot. The setting across the entire book is brilliantly described and constructed so that the image in the mind of the reader is vivid and clear. Throughout the book there are twists that enrich the story. The ending was unexpected, upsetting, but also a happy one, not in the sense that a fairytale has a happy ending, but happy all the same.

Posted on: 9th April 2017 at 12:02 pm

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