by Trilby Kent
Glenys Phayre volunteers to become penpals with a Belgium prisoner. Due to a misspelling in the city’s name, her letters end up in the mailbox of 13 year old Marten. He is as desperate for compainionship and a confidant as Glen is and Marten pretends to be said prisoner and writes back to her. Their correspondence gives each other a look into a different world from the one that they personally inhabit.
Their separate worlds are not so different when you look at them. Even though the book is set in 1936, a time between the world wars, their worlds are not that much different than ours even. Marten’s world is filled with hate that is based on religious beliefs and political views. Glen’s worls is filled with hate based on race. Our world abounds with the hate for all three basis and then some: politics, race, religion, class, economics, social standing … this list can go on and on.
Some say that hate is based on fear of differences. That these differences could somehow make one inferior. Hatred helps tip the scales and make one feel superior instead of realizing that maybe they are the ones who are inferior. Personally, I think blind hatred magnifies the inferiority. We try to believe that society has come a long way, but racism and bigotry are still alive and well. We just create new targets, but the blind hatred is just the same.
*DISCLAIMER: I received this selection for Bookworm Wednesday free in exchange for this review. This is entirely my own opinion. If you like my reviews please visit my site A Goddess of Literature for more reviews.