SAUNDERS, Kate Five Children on the Western Front A&U, 2014 318pp $19.99 ISBN 9780571310951 SCIS 1686786
Although this book can be read alone it is enriched for those who have already read Nesbit’s Five Children and It written at the turn of the last century. Saunders, in this bitter-sweet fantasy, has successfully captured the mood of British society and its interaction with the horrors of World War I. The children from Nesbit’s world have now grown into adolescence and young adulthood when the Psammead, the sandfairy, who can grant wishes is found and awoken. Saunder’s writing is true to the parent book which allows the reader to enter a world that might otherwise be lost. Here is a novel that has been written with love and care and is immensely readable. A reprint of Nesbit’s book has also been published in conjunction with this one and it should be remembered that Nesbit’s work has been the catalyst for modern fantasy, especially that of C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series. Well worth reading.
reviewed by John Cohen