In a similar way to Goodnight Mr Tom, A Little Love Song looks at the effect of war on those not in the middle of the fighting but trying to create a future for themselves.
This wonderfully warm hearted coming of age story tells the story of two sisters sent to the country to live for a few months while their mother is abroad entertaining the troops. As they settle into life their, younger sister Rose discovers some diaries of the previous occupant of the cottage they are staying in and uncovers a fascinating if tragic life. Diana meanwhile is trying to find confidence in herself and become a stronger person – but can both find freedom?
Michelle Magorian always manages to confront some big issues in a way that isn’t patronising for her young readers such as prejudice, war, duty and secrets that are used effectively to transform the characters.
For example, reading about the character Dot and the prejudice she faces being an unmarried mother is almost laughable now, but back during both World Wars it was considered to be a shameful secret that tore apart families. The scenes in which Dot gives birth are not necessarily graphic, but suitably intimate and effective in showing how Rose is growing up thanks to the independence she has been given.
The topic of war is always lurking in the background, particularly when it comes to hearing about Alec’s trauma from fighting in the first World War to Derry being matter-of-fact about the idea of death showing the uncertainty of war.
But the majority of the book is about growing up in an uncertain world, trying to figure out who it is you want to be – not just your job but your outlook on life. It is a very uplifting read, not just for young adults but adults as well could probably appreciate this story and its spirited heroine.
An uplifting read, A Little Love Song is a straightforward and gentle read – a perfect book for the summer months.
A Little Love Song is available to buy on Amazon now.