Maddie, Chobham Academy Book Group
This book is about Annabelle, who lives in Wolf Hollow, still stricken by the First World War, when suddenly the Second World War breaks out. She, and three generations of her family, live on a farm. Her family consist of: Her Grandmother, her Grandpa, her Aunt Lily, her Mother, her Father and her two little brothers, Henry and James. But then cruel, unkind Betty Glengarry arrives in Wolf Hollow and trouble starts to unfold. Annabelle battles with threats from Betty, to her and to her family, and struggles when harm comes to her friends. Most of this happens in Annabelle’s school, where Betty quickly befriends Andy, a tough older boy. Andy ends up only coming to school to see Betty and the troublemaking pair are soon getting up to no good. But when Betty goes missing, Wolf Hollow is quick to blame the old loner, Toby, a soldier from the war. Toby trudges over the hills, carrying his guns, all day, every day, and barely speaks to anyone. Everyone thinks he’s a little odd. Who better to blame than Toby? Annabelle has a feeling that Toby would never do such a thing to anyone, and fights for him. She begins to doubt the world around her and uncovers truths about people that no one would have ever suspected.
The book is well constructed and everything that happens seems natural, like it’s supposed to happen, but unexpected, as you would never imagine anything like that happening. It is realistic in a way, with events taking place that are completely plausible, but are not common and would not be expected in this book. I feel that the title, Wolf Hollow, could have been made more interesting, to make you want to know more, but it also gives you the minimum, so you want to pick up the book and read the blurb. I would also say that the end seems a bit hurried, as everything happens at once. It could have been more spread out to keep up the suspense.
The mood created throughout the book is quite mysterious and gloomy, as some of the events that take place are fairly dark. There are parts of the story that you have to piece together to make sense of it during the story, right up until the end, when you finally discover the answers. This adds to the mystery and adds suspense. The book also seems exciting as something new is always happening. The language is quite formal, but I found it quite easy to understand. I liked the mix of short sentences, which created suspense, and longer ones, which added more detail and description.
I find Annabelle a fairly convincing character, as she becomes more confident as the book progresses. She is also eager to work and seems to lead an ordinary lifestyle. I like her because she is relatable and hardworking but, when faced with danger, rises to the challenge and fights for what is right. She interacts with Toby very well and their relationship is very realistic. They act like Father and Daughter but when they interact it sometimes seems quite awkward and intense. Their relationship is also clear when Toby interacts with Betty in a way that shows his feelings towards both girls. Towards Annabelle he shows a mix of respect and kindness, but his feelings toward Betty are much on the contrary. He seems quite protective over Annabelle and does not agree with Betty. Toby is quite stubborn at times but can be agreeable. Most of the characters develop throughout the book and act as would be expected to from the backgrounds given.
Overall I really enjoyed Wolf Hollow as it was exciting all the way through. The suspense leading up to each main event was very good and the description really made you feel like you were there. My favourite character was Annabelle because she fought for what was right and worked hard to reach her goals. I like how the story seemed to fit naturally and was obviously well planned. None of the events seemed sudden or out of place and they all flowed into each other. I would give this an 8/10 because I loved the story, but the characters could have been developed more and the style could have fitted the theme better.
Posted on: 23rd March 2017 at 09:26 am