Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review: The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler's wing and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets,
and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st, 2015
 by Doubleday Childrens
**** 1/2



Lately, I have decided to stay away from books pertaining to World War I & 2, just to give my mind and emotions a break. The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is obviously an exception. In an endeavor to clear my Netgalley backlog, I found this one and dove right in without reading the blurb. Being there meant I wanted to read it and my memory isn’t always so good - this was released in 2015, my apologies to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the late review.

Marked as children’s fiction coming in at approximately 224 pages I was immediately drawn in by the plight of poor little Pierrot. He’s had a hard life and it only gets worse as this story begins in 1935.

I finished this book last week and I am still thinking about it. The author has written a story where I didn’t anticipate the ride I would be taken on (remember I didn't read the blurb). Time elapses over the years as Pierrot grows into an inquisitive boy/teen searching for a place to belong. From the book blurb, you can see what direction he takes, I was taken by surprise at some of the things that took place. Like I said this is children’s HF but I feel it has mature scenes of violence that might offend some. It’s a rating I can understand as some YA might find the first half too juvenile to continue.

This is my first book by John Boyle, I was impressed with his writing style how he drew me in and how he depicted the times, bringing the emotion this time period evokes. This is the story with many layers some of which include grief, bullying, loneliness, friendship and searching for oneself - all packed into 224 pages, well done John Boyne! Definitely an author I will read more of.

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