Del (Delora) isn’t initially a particularly captivating character, in fact, her portrayal of betrayal and lack of support from her parents is overly dramatic and stereotypical at times. But she is quickly charmed by an enormously captivating character, Garda, when introduced to Garda’s journal entries which depict a tragic life in tragic times during the Second World War.
Garda’s life, and the lessons she teaches Del, make this story and shape Del into a far more likable character. The sharp contrast between Del’s typical teenage quest for independence and Garda’s struggle for survival in the face of true betrayal keeps the reader engaged and, in the end, rooting for both characters.
Del’s realization of the life she has through her experience of Garda’s life is refreshing and endearing. In the end, it leaves the reader hoping for a stereotypical happy ending.
Karen Bass evokes strong emotions in her readers through her use of contrast and stark realism of a truly tragic time.
A quick read that leaves the reader thinking about the past and valuing our present.