Five Children on the Western Front
Five Children on the Western Front is Kate Saunder’s incredible, heart-wrenching sequel to E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It, set on the eve of the First World War. The five children have grown up – war will change their lives for ever.
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An epic, heart-wrenching follow-on from E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It stories.
The five children have grown up and World War I has begun in earnest.
Cyril is off to fight, Anthea is at art college, Robert is a Cambridge scholar and Jane is at high school. The Lamb is the grown up age of 11, and he has a little sister, Edith, in tow.
The sand fairy has become a creature of stories … until, for the first time in 10 years, he suddenly reappears.
The siblings are pleased to have something to take their minds off the war, but this time the Psammead is here for a reason, and his magic might have a more serious purpose.
Before this last adventure ends, all will be changed, and the two younger children will have seen the Great War from every possible viewpoint – factory-workers, soldiers, nurses and ambulance drivers, and the people left at home, and the war’s impact will be felt right at the heart of their family.
Saunders has created a simply brilliant book...E. Nesbit would be proud and honoured by this beautifully crafted, funny, heart-breaking story
The return of the Psammead, as superbly grumpy as ever, was magical. This book is a delight.
This is a skillful and deeply moving piece of work: poignant, beautifully judged, not a crass pastiche but a respectful homage that recycles its source material to pack a powerful anti-war punch. Saunders's novel does what fiction does best: it focuses on individuals we care about in order to make a universal point.
Despite lively characterisation, and realistic ambience and expressions ("a proper caution"), the voice is unlike Nesbit's, but has a skill and charm of its own, as well as compassion and conviction
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