“Sounds spooky and perfect for the summer”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Unlike the teenage protagonist, I’ll be kind: none of the positive reviews on this site is a lie. It’s just that, as only one other reader has written, I never warmed up one degree to any of the characters. I did finish the book, but only out of the same sense of duty felt halfway through Miss...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Gave some insight into the occupation of Guernsey. Has some very distasteful characters”Angela L wrote this review Thursday, February 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Teenage memoirs with intriguing insights into life in Guernsey under Nazi occupation. The writing is young and compelling. ”Bathrunner wrote this review Wednesday, December 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Unlike the teenage protagonist, I’ll be kind: none of the positive reviews on this site is a lie. It’s just that, as only one other reader has written, I never warmed up one degree to any of the characters. I did finish the book, but only out of the same sense of duty felt halfway through Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow, when I started counting down the page numbers.
Catherine Rozier – 15, drama queen, self-confessed murderer and our narrator – is as cold as what I imagine the Channel Islands to be. She does have a distinctive and credible voice, but the point of a wisecracking teen voice is to put people off, and … well, yes, the author does succeed in pulling this off. A backhanded compliment, to be sure. It’s because Catherine’s got secrets but is desperate to divulge everything all the same; hence her writing this diary of confessions. Speaking of divulging, Catherine is a top History student (regardless of what she does to her favorite teacher), so she interrupts her narrative every too often with distracting little numbers pointing to pointless footnotes. I would have taken the Guernsey-born author at her word about all things Guernsey, sans documentary references. (Rampant teenage drinking, for instance – very interesting.)
As for the history that repeats itself, it is told in my least favorite storytelling style, the split narrative, so the chapters alternate between Catherine’s journal entries and her late uncle’s account of wartime German occupation, which she is reading or has already read. Charlie Rozier, too, is vividly developed through his patois-inflected voice, which kept taunting my long-diminished high-school French. I ended up liking him better than his niece. Yet the payoff in his tale came like the British at Liberation: much too late, seemingly long after the conflict was over.
Characterization is clearly a strength of Horlock’s, so now that she’s placed her hometown squarely on our literary maps, I hope there will be more of that in her next release. And far fewer of the history lessons, please.”
“A good story, if you have never been to Guernsey this book certainly presses you too, to see the steep cliffs for yourself, and look down...”Hans Wiegand wrote this review Tuesday, August 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was really hard to enjoy. For the first one hundred pages I just wanted to quit reading, then for the remaining 200 pages I just wanted to hurry and finish it. I did not enjoy her writing style, which may have partially been a culture issue. Also, none of her characters are likeable. ”CHRISTINE K wrote this review Monday, March 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No