Saturday 1 November 2008


Finished October 31
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
This is a book I've been meaning to read for a while as it came highly recommended. I'm glad I finally made time for it, as it was wonderful.
The story takes place on a remote island in the Solomon Islands. The story is told from the point of view of a young girl in the community, Matilda. Her father has gone to work overseas, in Australia, and her mother is gripped by religion. The mines on the island have been closed due to insurgency and there is fighting between local rebels and soldiers. All the whites have left except one man, Mr. Watts.
Mr. Watts takes over the school to keep the children occupied and he reads Charles Dickens' Great Expectations to the children, explaining as he goes. In addition to the reading, various members of the community visit the school to impart their knowledge about everything from fishing to knowledge of colour. As the village comes under attack by the players in the conflict, the community finds that imagination can be dangerous as well as freeing.
Matilda is an intelligent girl, who remains shaped by this period in her life. Her observations of the members of her community and the knowledge she gains from this experience are insightful and illustrative.

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