Ajay, Chobham Academy Book Group
This is the first shortlisted book that I have read, so I can't judge it fairly against the others. This book takes place during the events of World War Two so there is a certain attitude towards the German character(s).
It creates an atmosphere of isolation within the general area it is set - surrounded by hills and pits for catching wolves (hence the name "Wolf Hollow").
It begins with a young girl called Annabelle talking in the first person about her troubles being an eleven year old girl, and the struggles during the Second World War. She has a friend called Ruth who she meets with at school, but she takes a different path so she avoids the place where a considerable amount of the story takes place; Annabelle’s route to school.
Toby is introduced as someone who presumably fought in the First World War, and suffered from shellshock, a common effect of the conditions soldiers were forced to live in and the terrible things they had seen. Betty, on the other hand, is the main antagonist of the story – in a way – because she is responsible for most of the bad things that happen in the story and she would be considered the “bully” of the school. She ends up throwing a rock at a German (as mentioned before, many people disliked Germans because of the ongoing war) but it ends up hitting Ruth and she loses her eye. She is also most of the reason why Toby had to go on the run and ended up dying (a tragic moment in the story). In the end she goes missing for days and even when she is found impaled in a well, taken to hospital and is recovering slowly, she also ends up dying. This is the author trying to make us feel sympathetic for her, even after all she has done.
As for Annabelle’s attempt to justify lying in order to force Andy, Betty’s friend to give up information about her, I believe she succeeded; if it turned out Betty did nothing wrong and Andy knew Annabelle was lying, nothing impactful would really have happened.
In conclusion, this story started slowly and, honestly a bit boring, but gradually got better to the point where at the end of the story I was sad that it had ended. If it had the potential for a sequel (there isn’t much to build on now) and one was published I would definitely read it. So far this is my favourite shortlisted book.
Posted on: 12th May 2017 at 01:03 pm
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