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The War that Saved My Life

Review

The War that Saved My Life

The year is 1939 and Hitler is on the move. Ten-year-old Ada manages to slip out of her oppressive environs with her six-year-old brother Jamie to join other London children who are being evacuated to the countryside. The children are promised that the families awaiting their arrival will care for them. Unfortunately, no one seems to want Ada and Jamie, and they are sent to live with Susan Smith, a single woman who neither has experience with children nor any desire to care for them. Tension exists between Ada and Susan, even though the living arrangement appears to be better than anticipated. While their relationship builds amid hardship from the ensuing war, an unexpected event ultimately tests their bond of love.

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE is an unforgettable gripping story, one that is not only earmarked to be an award-winning novel, but also has the potential of becoming an all-time classic.

Long before war begins to ravage people's lives throughout Europe, an internal war has been brewing in one particular young girl's life --- because of her twisted foot, Ada has been the recipient of physical, mental and emotional abuse.  Because of this, Ada has a difficult time embracing Susan's kindness, and she constantly convinces herself that Susan isn't real. Bradley incorporates a bit of leitwortstil throughout a handful of chapters to reflect Ada's coping mechanism by periodically repeating the phrase "she's not a nice person." Yet this is only the beginning of Bradley's use of paradox --- a key literary tool driving her plot.

Ada is a dynamic character. She is learning to adapt to the newness of her countryside surroundings, even though she feigns indifference in Susan's presence. She’s also very aware of others, and observes that other people have their ups and downs no matter their lot in life.

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE is an unforgettable gripping story, one that is not only earmarked to be an award-winning novel, but also has the potential of becoming an all-time classic.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on January 16, 2015

The War that Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley