Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne (Review)

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I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave follows the story of Alfie, a nine year old boy. When Alfie was five years old, war broke out and his father promised he wouldn’t sign up. However, he broke that promise. Alfie doesn’t know where his father is, and he no longer get’s letters. All Alfie knows is that his father is on a secret mission. One day when Alfie is shoe shining at King’s Cross station he comes across a piece of paper, with his fathers name on it which says he is in a hospital. Alfie decides he needs to rescue his father.

I was pleasantly surprised by John Boyne’s new book. I was slightly disappointed when I read The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas, and so I was slightly hesitant to read this. However, when I got approved for it on NetGalley I thought why not? I am glad I did as I think it was better than The Boy is the Stripped Pyjamas. Alfie was a good protagonist. Yes he was naive, but what nine year old child isn’t. I did enjoy the other characters as well, such as George, Margie and Joe.

It’s an enjoyable story about what a young boy would go through for love, and what he would do to help his mother out and rescue his father. Alfie doesn’t go to school, except for twice a week, and instead he shines shoes and secretly puts the money in his mothers purse to help her out. It shows the hardship which many families faced during the war, and the terror they had at a knock on the door, in case it was the army telling them their loved ones have died. Stay Where You Are And Then Leave gives an insight to shell shock which many men suffered from when they went to the Front, and it shows the effect which it has on the soldiers and their families. It also portrays some importance issues, such as how those who didn’t fight are perceived and the hate which those who are not British got during the war, and how both were treated like outsiders.

If you are a fan of historical fiction then I suggest you give Stay Where You Are And Then Leave a go.

MY RATING: ★★★★★

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