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Mr Conan, Impington Village College

Beck

Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff have both won the Carnegie Medal. They have also both written much better books than this one. I worry that the judges might decide to award Beck the prize more because of the sadness behind the reason why Meg had to finish what Mal began than because this novel is the best of those shortlisted - which it is not. I feel that it is not a sufficiently significant or successful novel to justify the upsetting scenes in the first 54 pages. Although it is not an uneventful plot, it feels rather 'thin'. There are aspects of Beck's relationship with Grace that are troubling and feel exploitative - of him by her. The characters who were the most appealing in the whole book were Irma and Bone and it was my strong hope that Beck would return to a life that included them. It is rare to feel that a strong, beautiful, successful, independent woman would be a wrong choice of life partner but in this case it did not feel right. When Beck took Grace's hand at the end and asked her where they were going, she answered "Home". That is, of course, a traditional way to end a novel but it was not convincing for this one.

Posted on: 13th June 2017 at 12:38 pm

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