2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
How to cheat death when you're only 14,
This review is from: The Death Defying Pepper Roux (Hardcover)
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Imagine your aunt had prophesied that you would die at the age of fourteen, and worse still that everyone believed her. That's what happened to Pepper Roux, which led to him having a very strange childhood - growing up with his religious nut of an Aunt, his absentee drunken sailor of a Dad, and a mother, who knowing he'd be dead soon, didn't bother much with him. So, when Pepper reaches fourteen, he resolves that if he is to die it will not be a wasted death, so he runs away to sea. This is the first adventure of many amongst the low-lifes of Marseilles and the Camargue for the youngster on the run. For death seems to follow him around, and each time he believes it should have been him. A helpful lad, he tries to do good turns along the way, but they often backfire on him, and the gendarmes are on his trail.
McCaughrean has conjured up a wonderful cast of sailors, horse-theieves, and gangsters who all try to take advantage of young Pepper, who nevertheless is growing up fast and living life to the full - each day still believing that it could be his last.
He learns along the way about truth, lies and their consequences which, although written for young adults, makes this book a really satisfying adult read. Pepper's adventures make for a quick and witty page-turning read, but you will think about the story for ages afterwards.