Author: John Rowe Townsend
Published: March 2010 by October Mist Publishing
Source: sent by publisher
Description: What if money became worthless? The coming winter was going to be a hard one and not because of the weather. As England descends into economic chaos, sixteen-year-old Barry Mortimer's life turns upside down when his father moves the family from their cozy home in the city to a grim, brick mansion on the outskirts of town. Why isn't anyone allowed to visit the Mortimers' new home? What is Father doing in the cellar and why is he keeping it a secret? As rumors of skyrocketing prices and food shortages become reality, Barry's world begins to crumble. Can his family hold together as a nation collapses around them? Terrifying because it could happen tomorrow...
I Give This ...
I really enjoyed this book because it feel so terrifyingly real. It raised some thoughtful questions and I can't say what I would do in the same situation. The setting is interesting. It never gives a date, so really it could be in the past, happening now, or sometime in the future. It's reads more like historical fiction for me. I felt the story takes place sometime right after the world wars. I think this is because of some of the chauvinistic attitudes of the men in the story (woman's place is in the kitchen, children should be seen and not heard).
I was surprised at how intense the characters were. Granted, I think the most developed are the males. But, I think that's the point. In this story, it's a man's world. I really disliked Barry's father. Although, I understood his actions and even appreciated the reasons behind them. I just wish he wasn't so secretive and treated his wife a little (or a lot) better. Barry himself was a very thoughtful young man. You could really seem him struggle with protecting his family (especially his father) and wanting to do what was right in his eyes. I think my favorite character was Nessie and I wish we got more from her in the story.
The story is well thought out. As more and more people find out what is going on in the household, you can't help me feel very apprehensive of what might happen. I can't imagine having to make the choice of making sure my family is provided for or providing for a population that is struggling beyond true comprehension. I think that is were the story lack a little. It just touches the surface of how others are handling the ordeals faced them. I think it's toned down a lot for the intended audience. Overall, I think it's a book that will really make you think. Having a family of my own, I can see both Barry and his father's points of view.