Friday, February 20, 2009

When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale

This was an easy read and interesting, although I'm not sure I really enjoyed it. The story is told from the perspective of a nine-year old boy with all the focus and interests one would expect from this age. His friends, his hamster, his toys and his relationships with his family. Occasionally we are treated to excerpts of his learning about Space and Roman history. It is much more than that, tho, the reader finds, as the story unfolds. At first I was amused at the perspective, and I am impressed with the author's ability to stay 'in character' throughout. Some would be bothered by the mis-spellings and grammatical errors but it is what you would expect from inside the mind of a 9-yr old. There were definitely times I felt that Lawrence was mature for his age, like when he is trying his best to help his mother even when he's not sure what it is that she needs, and other times when I felt he was simply acting out by his deliberate misbehaviour. The interaction between him and his sister was completely believable. There were parts that puzzled me and the ending was not at all expected but did make everything clearer and more understandable. I don't like to give away an ending, so I won't, but I do feel this book is worth reading. It will draw you in.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

The misspellings and grammatical errors really bothered me. I had trouble figuring out what a few of them meant.