Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"What did he see? Christina wondered. She saw only the danger. He saw the stars and the moon, and space without end. "
Christina and Will have eloped together, escaping the fraught situation in their home lives and hoping that they might now be together until the point when they are able to marry. It is hard to imagine a novel that captures the sense of limitless aspiration, possibility and ambition of early adulthood with such effectiveness.
The exhilaration of early flight and aviation spurs Will on to become a pilot, but his career choice causes untold anxiety for Christina who worries over his safety. These tensions are intensified by Will’s desire to join the army and the increasing threat of conflict of the imminent First World War.
Dialogue and description throughout the novel carries and conveys an impressive weight of emotion that captures the verve and force of first love and the manner in which this is able to change and alter outlooks. Aspects of the relationship between Will and Christina do feel a little gendered and of another era with her somewhat passive anxieties and propensity to fret and become flustered and his preoccupation with all things aeronautical.
Where the novel excels is in the exhilarating and invigorating sense of first love, of pathways and possibilities opening up before us and in way that there are so many directions, vistas and in the ways that love elevates and clarifies some of who and what we are.
"I am looking forward to introducing this book, which I loved as a teenager, to the girls in our reading group. It is a book full of romance , adventure and history with more titles in the series to enjoy. "