I’ve not got long until the Carnegie prize is awarded (19th June- eek), so I had better crack on with my list. Next up is Lauren Wolk’s Wolf Hollow.
The story is set in a quiet town in Pennsylvania- Wolf Hollow- in the midst of World War II. Annabelle and her extended family live a busy life on their farm, a place where troubled war veteran, Toby spends his days wandering the hills. When blonde, blue-eyed, Betty arrives at Annabelle’s school, everything changes. Hell-bent on making Annabelle’s life a misery, to what lengths will she go? And to what cost?
I felt like this book had real potential. I haven’t really read much about this period in history in American fiction, so it was an interesting concept. I really liked the character of Annabelle. I felt that she matured throughout the book, and her relationships, particularly with her parents, brothers and Toby were wonderful. Betty though- eugh. I feel that she was so much more than the simple ‘bully’ she is painted as. Some of her choices are almost psychotic. She’s cold, calculating and pretty disturbing frankly. I haven’t come across a character I liked less for a long time.
There were definitely some surprises along the way, but I could see what was coming a mile off. That being said, I was still pretty gutted at the end. You can’t help but feel ashamed of them. There are some fabulous books on the shortlist this year, and for me, unfortunately, this fell a little short.