This is the second book in Kimberly Bradley’s series about Ada, a refugee from the east end of London who has the world’s worst mother and a clubfoot (that could have been fixed when she was young, but her mother doesn’t want to pay for it). The book picks up where the first book ends.
I didn’t like this book as well as the last one. Ada is a fairly whiny child approaching her teens and she ends up whining a lot which is annoying. I was hoping that her character would develop and become a little more grateful since she is a. saved from the worst of the London bombing, b. taken in by a very kind, wise woman, c. given her own horse, d. friends with a Lord’s daughter, etc. etc. etc. Will this change whiny Ada? Nah. She remains whiny throughout the whole second book. I found myself wishing that Susan (her guardian) would send her to military school where someone could kick her rear end daily.
Still, the book is not without it’s strong points. A German Jew comes to live with Susan, Ada, and Jaime (Ada’s brother), and of course! Ada is obnoxious and insufferable to her as well, although she eventually warms up and the pair become friends.
There are tragedies–it’s the war, many people die.
There is an ongoing theme of religion as Ada tries to figure out what makes Jews and Christians different and why Hitler hates Jews.
There is some humor, Ada, who is quite naive since her mother never sent her to school, wonders why Churchill doesn’t recruit some dragons with which to battle Hitler. She thinks dragons are real.
I read the audible version and the narrator, Jayne Entwistle, must read the book in the first person voice of a middle school child, (not to mention all the other characters). She knocks the narration right out of the park.