I must have liked this book. Otherwise, I wouldn't have given it as a gift to two of my library volunteers. Yeah, I really liked it and I know these ladies will, too. I believe it's a great "companion" to The War that Saved My Life (which they both adored). It's one of those, "if you liked that book, then read this" as in both books take place during World War II with strong young, female first person protagonists figuring out who they are and always wanting to do right.
Annabelle has secrets. These secrets are big and for a while she even keeps them from her parents. Is this the right thing? I don't know, but it's definitely something to talk about. Annabelle protects people we believe to be innocent. She is also bullied so badly by a very mean Betty Glengarry. Then when things go terribly bad for Betty, you struggle internally for your own feelings for Betty and what's best all around. Oh my. Another heart clutching, brain spinning story that I can't wait to have long hearty discussions about with kids. What happens when bad things happen to bad people? I can picture that ethical discussion going on for a very long time.
And then there is Aunt Lily. She's a character you can never empathize with, even at the end. How can one person despise someone so much but flirt with his "twin"? Really, Aunt Lily? It's a challenge ever to have kind thoughts about her when she never offers them herself.
This is the story of Annabelle's strength, Toby's mysteriousness, a heartless Betty, and a family just trying to do the right thing. All along, WW II is a backdrop with a free Kodak camera and party line telephone playing key roles.
I listened to this book and thought the reader was sweet but don't think this is a make or break audio book. I went ahead and gave the hardcovers to my volunteers feeling confident that the written words are just as powerful as the ones spoken.