Sunday, 6 July 2014

Back Home - Michelle Magorian

Product DetailsBack home for Rusty is....... well, just exactly where is back home?  Rusty was evacuated as a seven year old to the USA during WW2, and now, aged twelve is is back in the UK, a a house in Devon owned by  friend of her mother's.  And she wants to be back in America, where she lived with such a lovely, loud, talented family who taught her so much, and made her life a joy.  Now, with a silent and shy mother, Charlie, a new four year old brother, a father still absent in the Pacific; Rusty has to make that life hers.  But how difficult it is.  They have to return to  her father's family home, and live with Rusty's paternal grandmother, a woman who disapproves of Rusty's every move and of Charlie's too.  And when she is shunted off to a boarding school where no-one wants to be her friend - life becomes even harder.

This is a coming of age story, although the heroine, Rusty, is only twelve.  She has to go through a lot more than most of us to get to the point where she is happy again.  Magorian always writes of younger people so well, you forget that you are reading, and you find yourself in that world inhabited by people who have not yet found their place in life.  It reads like a dream, whole chapters go by and you keep turning pages.  It's a fine example of grownups not really seeing what is happening, and not really listening to what a child says (or doesn't say).