Once, Then, Now and finally After…
the Nazis took my parents I was scared
they killed my best friend I was angry
they ruined my thirteenth birthday I was determined
To get to the forest
To join forces with Gabriek and Yuli
To be a family
To defeat the Nazis after all
After is the fourth book about Felix, but chronologically it is the third in his story falling between Then and Now. Set in the dying months of the Second World War it continues Felix’s story as a refugee and a partisan but always a survivor…
This book has affected me emotionally more than any book I have read in recently, sure there have been books that made me well up a bit here and there but After is different. It is a work of fiction but one that addresses real events, things that happened that are still within living memory. I have met and spoken to Survivors from the Holocaust and I think that this my be part of the reason that After moved me so much.
After finishing the book I did not think that I would be able to write a review, but here it is. Morris Gleitzman has captured the voice of a 13 year old living through the most horrific of times and by rights this book should be grim, sad and depressing.
Sad it is, grim – in laces definitely but it is leavened by Felix’s youthful exuberance and desires for a normal life, a family, wondering if Gabriek wants a son or Yuli a family. The characters are real, from partisans who hate Jews but hate Nazis just a little bit more to children who are forced into lievs their parents choose for them and moving beyond bigotry and trying to be more humane.
After made me sad and happy, after I finished reading it I walked around with a heavy feeling in my chest, it did more than mess with my emotions – it moved me and I hope that I never lose this feeling!
After is a book about life, loss, acceptance and finally hope.
WIN One of three copies of After by Morris Gleitzman, name the four books in order in the comments field, the competition will run until the 15th August.