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Carrie's War

Shared Reading S.

By (author) Nina Bawden
Volume editor Bob Bibby, Linda McGrath
Format: Paperback
Publisher: National Association for the Teaching of English, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Published: 31st May 1997
Dimensions: h 300mm
Reading age: 7-11
Key stage: UK School Key Stage 2
ISBN-10: 0901291471
ISBN-13: 9780901291479
Barcode No: 9780901291479

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Kirkus US
The stingy fundamentalist shopkeeper Mr. Evans and his timid sister Aunt Lou provide a secure if spartan existence for youngsters Carrie and Nick during their time as evacuees from wartorn London. And for warmth and good food, there was always their treasured visits to the kitchen at Druid's Bottom, where the witch-wise servant woman Hepzibah cared for Mr. Evans' senile sister Dilys Gotobed, for mute and retarded Mr. Johnny and for fellow evacuee Albert Sandwich. Years later as she recalls these scenes for her children, Carrie is still haunted by the fear that her spiteful defiance of an old superstition may have caused the conflagration at Druid's Bottom that she glimpsed from a train window on the day of her departure. And she remembers the time when everyone believed that by confiding in Mr. Evans, for whom she alone felt pity, she had helped rob Hepzibah of her rightful inheritance. The murky atmosphere of the eccentric country household and the nitpicking routines dictated by Mr. Evans' compulsive thrift are adroitly contrasted, but the real reward is Carrie's insight into the loneliness of an unsympathetic old man. The realities of chilblains and fried bread in a Welsh mining town and the mysteries of that remembered "dark green, silent place" in the valley overgrown by yew trees are fused into a story of hushed suspense and emotional complexity. (Kirkus Reviews)