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Too long winded, and a very monotonous beginning.
on 17 July 2013
It takes over 2 hrs for Jacqueline Wilson too establish that Elsie has no friends of her own age, that her mother is neglectful and that two of the characters have an infectious disease. During this time nothing eventful happens, there is no interesting dialogue, or historical colour. Given the sad theme as well most listeners are likely to have given up long before this point. JW seems to have forgotten how rationing was still effecting people's lives, at this time. Giving away a rationed item like chocolate would have been a very big deal for example. Society was recovering from the War in many other ways, all of which is ignored. The newness of the National Health Service is also overlooked.
Elsie's main intiative is to fantasize, which I did not find either interesting or endearing. I would have liked more quirkiness from some of the other characters.
There is enough worthwhile content in this book to fill 1 or 2 hours. At nearly 10 hrs I found it a chore to listen through.
The reader, Finty Williams, has a clear rich voice which I would be happy to listen to again. She does not however add any drama to the narrative on this difficult occasion.
The language and perspective is suitable for 9-11 year olds, but I would not recommend it to any children I know.