Sarah Robinson, Ripley St Thomas C E Academy
Whilst the Second World War rages throughout Europe, 11-year-old Annabelle McBride lives a quiet life on her family farm in the small Pennsylvanian town of Wolf Hollow in 1943. However, her peaceful life is destroyed when the cruel Betty Glenberry arrives, threatening both her and her brothers, and lying her way out of trouble. But when Betty suddenly mysteriously disappears, suspicion falls onto Toby, and soon the whole town is on a manhunt organised by rumour and fear. It’s a race against time for Annabelle to find the truth, Betty and clear Toby’s name.
This is an incredible book and story with an effortless writing style that makes it an enjoyable read. Toby is a shy, all most silent figure haunted by war but Annabelle has only ever seen kindness from him and the friendship they grow to have is absolutely captivating. I also love how Wolk has mastered the characterisation of Annabelle, including the personality of as a strong, courageous heroine but also keeping the idea of her being a reasonably innocent child as well.
The novel brutally yet beautifully describes how Germans were treated, the importance to tell the truth, minority vs. majority opinions and where bulling and lying can lead you.
What Wolk also manages to do really well is mess with the reader’s desire for justice. As you read, you start to assume there is a very big chance that Betty’s lies will fool everyone and that she’ll never be held accountable for her actions.
However, it doesn’t work out that way, though the ending isn’t what you’d call triumphant for Annabelle either. Personally, I think this makes the ending rather disappointing, and a bit anticlimactic. I was also left feeling rather deceived at the end of reading it, as it turns out that the book has nothing to do with actual wolfs, and as this was one of the main reasons I picked it up, I was rather disappointed. However, despite all this, I still enjoyed reading this book a lot more then I had originally thought, as it was a gripping and intriguing read, and the pages literally flew by.
On the whole, I think this book is aimed at young adults, but to be honest, I think that adult readers could also enjoy this novel. I hope that others will enjoy this book as much as I did, and recommend it to anyone who loves adventure and suspense.
Posted on: 18th May 2017 at 04:48 pm
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