Saturday, May 08, 2010

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - The Foreshadowing

Actually finished this one a week or so ago, but in all of the zaniness of getting ready for summer programs, school visits, etc., the book got buried under a pile on my desk and just now resurfaced as a reminder to post. I've liked all of books by Marcus Sedgwick that I've read before, and The Foreshadowing is no exception. His stuff has just the right edge of creepiness to keep to turning the pages, but not enough to keep you from sleeping at night. I like that! This one takes place in England, just as WWI is breaking out. 17-year-old Sasha, is the daughter of a doctor, who just wants her to act like a lady and marry someone of the proper social standing. Sasha wants to be more useful, and wants to become a nurse. Her 2 brothers are polar opposites. Edgar is the tough guy, eager to enlist in the military as the war starts. Tom is a gentle-spirited soul who wants to become a doctor and help, not hurt people. Sasha had a premonition of a playmate's death back when she was just 5 years old, suddenly simply blurting out "Why does Clare have to die?" All of the adults within earshot were aghast, and she really frightened poor Clare. But shortly after that, Clare came down with tuberculosis and did, in fact, die. This became an episode that simply wasn't ever mentioned again. Until the premonitions start again at the age of seventeen. Her family still doesn't want to talk about it, and refuses to believe that Sasha is actually having premonitions. After accurately predicting Edgar's death, when Sasha foresees Tom's, she sets out to try to stop the premonition from coming true.
There are some grisly, but not overly graphic, descriptions of war injuries, and lots of talk about death, so not for the really weak-stomached. But other than that, there is nothing objectionable for older middle-school students, and fine for high school students. A good read that gives you a look at the WWI era and how the war affected everyday people, especially those who went off expecting glory, not the unprecedented amount of death and destruction.
Check it out!

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