Monday 30 September 2013

War Horse - Book Review


War Horse – Book Review

Michael Morpurgo

Historical Fiction


A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey.In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?


In War Horse, Michael Morpurgo writes a really touching story of friendship and adventure that, despite the tears, I was unable to put down. So I warn you now, this was a great but heart-wrenching read, and one that will require you to keep lots of tissues close at hand.

Set in the bleak ear of World War I, the story is told from the horse’s perspective, but as the reader will learn, Joey is not your average horse. When he is recruited to serve in the cavalry, he is torn away from his boy, Albert, who swears that no matter what, he will find Joey again and bring him home.

Yet that day is a long time in coming. And as the years pass Joey moves from one owner to the next, some kind, some not so… but all the while his thoughts are with his boy, Albert. Meanwhile, all around him the war rages and despite the misery and cruelty he suffers, Joey never loses hope that one day he and his boy will be reunited…

Although aimed at a younger audience, I felt like this was a book that would be enjoyed anyone aged 10 or over. With so many strong elements of friendship, loyalty and hope, it is a book that will inspire and encourage you to believe in miracles. Because watching Joey battle against all the odds, willing himself home… I couldn't help but cheer him on.

Plot wise the story was also very eye opening. For example, looking at a war torn land from a horse’s perspective made me more aware that it wasn't just the humans who suffered. Nor was it just the humans who battled. Many animals were injured, sacrificed and needlessly killed, just the same as the men. Overall it made War Horse a very enlightening read and one I can’t praise it enough. 5 stars!

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