I am a huge John Boyne fan and not because he wrote ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ which I did read and enjoy. I’m a fan because of the diversity of his writing. I love that he can write in so many different genres, that his young adult fiction is as good as his adult fiction, and I love the depths of his vast imagination.
This book was no exception.
And I’m not even sure how to write about it. I found it incredibly confronting and realistic and immense in its implications. Boyne has crafted something really masterful here that is going to take me some time to digest. Through his tale about young Pierrot, Boyne navigates his way through the complicity of German nationals, through the destruction of innocence and the enduring power of true friendships. He presents such a terrifying depiction of Hitler and his world that I found myself wondering about the extent of his research.
I read this book having in mind that I wanted my children to read it, but in hindsight I’m not sure that they are equipped to deal with the moral depths to which it plunges and I’m not sure that I am equipped to answer their questions about the choices that Pierrot makes and the repercussions of those choices.