I was given this book when I was 8 years old, it is a book whose story I have never forgotten, one of my first introductions into historical fiction, though I had no idea of this as a genre back then. I was sorting through my shed a couple of weeks ago and found it stored safely in a suitcase full of my favourite childhood reads and I knew I had to read it again to see if it was as good as I remembered it; it was.
I just love this story, a young boy who has been sent to the country from London along with a lot of other children, to keep them safe during the war. William has no experience with being treated with any kind of affection or goodness and when he is left with a crotchety older man who is a bit of a recluse, life as they both know it is about to change.
Will makes friends for the first time ever, he is given affection, he is cared for and he learns how to read and write as well as a miltitude of other experiences he has never had before.
I loved Will and Mister Tom, and I loved the friends Will made, especially Zach who is the most outrageous person Will has ever enountered and who shows him how to be himself.
Will’s mother is a truely selfish woman, using religion as a reason to mistreat Will, she is someone who didn’t deserve to have children. A mentally unstable woman, she has a lot to answer for, especially when she calls for Will to return to London because she is sick.
I loved the lessons that Mister Tom and the people of the town all learnt through the taking in of these evacuated children. And I really loved the relationship that grew between Mister Tom and Will and how both learned what love was.
This story is full of joy and heartbreak and had me crying me eyes out at one point and nearly in tears at another, it is one story that I will reread again and again.