The Foreshadowing
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The Foreshadowing

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,065 ratings  ·  132 reviews
It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun.

17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don't do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Laurel Leaf (first published 2005)
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Daria
Really - a glimpse of World War I life through the eyes of an upper class girl who can see the future (deaths, that is) and runs away to France in hope of finding her brother and saving him from his death. There's nothing in here that we haven't seen, be it trenches or shell-shocked soldiers. The characters are definitely not deep; in fact, there are hardly any interesting, difficult, twisted characters to meet and be entertained by. The protagonist herself speaks with in a monotone, a constant...more
Glamorgirl
It was really interesting to learn about the way things were for women back then and how the main character really felt like she need to do something more than just sit around the house all day I also enjoyed the settings and how she went to the war but what really disapointed me was that the main character didn't fall in love with Hodoo Jack who would be a perfect match for her because he would understand her the best of anyone if there was another book they would have deffinatly been together...more
Robin Kirk
I'm a fan of Sedgwick's spare style and his always interesting stories. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI, so I was interested in dipping into this story. Like some other reviewers, I wasn't sure I really knew Sasha, the main character, and what motivated her besides her brother. It's one of those books where, in the end, what really matters is what the men do and the female characters react to and reflect them, but don't have independent needs and wants. Though Sasha wants to...more
Michelle Reyes
This novel was recommended by my English teacher, who'd thought I'd enjoy reading it. Honestly I never read books that had their setting based on past History but this novel completely changed my mind on any genre with historical plots or settings. Sasha the main character who's an English girl has high expect ions coming foe her family. Her brothers are about to join the war and her levelheaded father is a Doctor who expects her to stay at home and be a house wife. Throughout the novel Sasha de...more
Elyodnagaet
This book shows the hardships of life and war. Seventeen-year-old Alexandra has a extremely exotic gift-or as she calls it a "curse"-she has premonitions of the very disturbing subject of death. As her visions keep coming, she has one very dark, pronounced premonition. Her brother being killed in war. She knows her visions are uncontrolable, but tries to keep her vision from happening.
This book came to my intrest because I had just recently finished Richard Adams' "Watership Down" and was intre...more
Jade Hoggins
2.5 stars

I enjoy Sedgwick's sparse writing style, where each word is very carefully chosen in order to achieve the greatest impact.
I also think that enough detail was included to give a truly appropriate sense of time and place: the frustrations of being female at a time when women were not considered mentally competent enough to vote; the effects of the class system both systemic and individual, the limitations on what a 'proper' girl could do.
There was a strong feeling of dread and helplessn...more
Kritika
I usually enjoy historical fiction, especially when it involves a supernatural twist. I can't say I really enjoyed this book, though. The story follows Alexandra (or Sasha) during the first world war, a young woman who can see deaths before they happen. She first sees her four-year-old playmate's death, and is later haunted by dreams of ravens and dying soldiers. When she sees the death of her brother in one of her dreams, Alexandra decides she will do anything she can to stop her prophetic drea...more
Michelle
This novel was a quicker read than I had anticipated - short chapters. It was also a lot deeper and more meaningful than I anticipated and delves into many social issues of that day, that of womens' roles in society, honor, duty, privilege, fear, & courage. YA readers may also relate to some of the characters' questioning the real reasons for the war and if it is really worth fighting and dying for - some youth today question U.S. involvement in some aspects of the War on Terror (specificall...more
Arya
M. Sedgwick's setting is war and he was able to steep enough "shadow" into this book that I actually felt a little scared to turn the page. It was a dark book, not in the traditional "evil" since, but in the foreboding that filled every chapter. I did not know that Sasha was going to do what she did - it actually really suprised me - but throughout the entire book I had a dark feeling of hanging on edge, and dread - wongness. It was as if I knew, just as Sasha knew, that something bad was going...more
Samantha
This is the first book I've read from Marcus Sedgwick and I've heard plenty of good things about his books. This one takes place during WWI and we have a female protagonist, but she's also got a secret of sorts. She can see how some people will die, although it doesn't necessarily work on everyone and the visions themselves can be a bit vague. When one of her visions shows her her brother's death on the battlefield, she knows she has to find a way to stop it before it comes to pass.

For the most...more
Joyce
This was the amazing story of a young girl racing against the clock to save her brother, and, in that process, piece her broken family back together again.

That’s my summary, and, as far as summaries go, I will admit that this is pathetic. But you’re not reading my review to read the summary of the story – doubtless, you will see dozens of other summaries should you continue to read on, or you could just read the official summary at the top and be done with it. You’re reading my review now to see...more
Jane
Do you believe in Fate? Can you change Fate?
When she was five, Alexandra foresaw her friend's imminent death. It alarmed her parents who spent the next 12 years in denial, suppressing her memories of that event. Now, at 17, she hears horror stories about World War I in full swing just across the English Channel. Her father, a doctor, exhorts both his sons to "do your bit" and join in the glory of war. But Alexandra foresees her brother's death. When it comes true, her other brother joins up, and...more
Laquesha
I absolutely loved this book! Kind of a cliche way to begin a book review but it is 100% true. Below, is a list of things that really secured a place for this novel in my heart.

1) It is a historical fictional novel set roughly in the 1914-1916s around the time when World War One was happening. I studied this topic at school a while back in History and it was just so interesting and absolutely mind-blowing to read about in 276 pages or less. It really captivated me to practically see everything t...more
Mashael
I have found within the pages of this book most of the elements that, in my mind, create a great story. Family, love, pain, hope and death. The book took me back to a different world -- a world of a horrifying war. It made my head spin with questions about the people in real life who had survived through the war and were able to handle losing their loved ones almost everyday. Or maybe they weren't. It makes the problems that I face seem silly and insignificant in front of what the people had fac...more
Suzanne
As dark and full of foreboding as the black cover with barbed wire would indicate. Very much a British perspective on fighting in WWI. Sasha has an unusual gift, or curse, of being able to foretell death in some circumstances. Such a skill isn't appropriate for a 17-year-old girl who is the daughter of a doctor. It isn't spoken of or acknowledged.

Alexandra(Sasha)loses her gung-ho brother to the fighting in France, and that prompts her pacific brother Thomas, who was training to become a doctor,...more
Denise Flynn
An interesting read. The 'chapters' we're annoyingly short but the themes of family relationships in a difficult time of war was what made the book for me. At times I could feel the extreme tensions of individual characters forced into performing a role which they were clearly uncomfortable with. Whether that was the women in the family, very clearly bound by class and gender expectations, or the males attempting to fulfil society's expectations. Alexander's 'visions' about future deaths added y...more
kari
This story of Sasha, a young girl who has premonitions when someone is going to die. With the advent of the Great War, this becomes something of a curse for her as she begins to see things she doesn't want to see.
This story is told almost like journal entries, with brief chapters of only a page or two. It is the impressions and feelings of Sasha, a teenage girl who steals an identity and runs off to France, posing as a nurse, to save someone she loves.
I like the styling of the book, the way the...more
Jennifer Wang
this book had potential to be something great, but there was next to no character development and introduction of characters that had no background and no other point of existing than to get the main character to the next stage and then disappearing forever. the characters themselves were also hardly believable and I found myself not really sympathising with them.

The ending was somewhat unclear and does't really wrap things up. although the ending had a slight twist to it, the whole story leaves...more
Nenette
“It would be like reading a book you know very well, but reading it backward, from the final chapter down to chapter one, so that the end is already known to you.” - this is the last phrase in chapter 75 (technically, chapter 27); and this is how exactly the chapter numbers were in the book – started with chapter 101, ended with chapter 1.

The book is a first person narrative of an English girl, Alexandra who lived in the early 1900’s during the First World War. She was able to see death, but as...more
Jessica
The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick was a thrilling book about unnatural abilities and World War One. The Foreshadowing is about a young girl named Alexandra who can see the future. This book takes place during World War One .Both of Alexandra’s brothers went away to the war. In this book Alexandra foresees the death of her eldest brother, Edgar. But it is too late to save him. Soon after she has a premonition about her brother Thomas. She sees him get shot in the war. So to save him Alexandra...more
Gwen
Dec 29, 2009 Gwen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for something a little different than the run of the mill predictable story.
This novel actually surprised me. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the movie term "sleeper," but this book definitely fits in that category. From the onset, you can tell this book will be like no other you've read with its brief chapters that run backwards. While it could be labeled as an historical fiction, it touches the realm of the paranormal.

We are introduced to the heroine of our story as a young child who predicts the death of her little friend. When the friend dies in the m...more
Kirsty (overflowing library)


In all honesty if you want a book about the horrors of the trenches, the impact of world war one on people left behind or the role of nurses in the war the are far better books out there to read. However despite this statement I do think this book is worth a read.

For me the magic in this book isn't the story as such, although it is engaging enough, it is in the beautifully unique writing style of Marcus Sedgwick. I don't think there are any other authors out there that I can compare his work t...more
Elena Jim
I was definitely intrigued by the beautiful, dark cover as well as its blurb.

The beginning of The Foreshadowing hooked me from the first sentence. I loved the impact of how short the chapters were, though the quality was amazing. Sedgwick definitely knows how to enchant readers!

I liked the beginning, middle and almost-end, and there was really only one aspect that I didn't like.

I wasn't too fond of the ending, really - Cassandra was lucky, Voodoo Jack was lucky and her brother, Thomas was a lit...more
Eshika
I read this book in my english class for an essay. The story itself is a good one and the short chapters keep you reading on. The book also leaves you asking questions as the ending is quite an unfulfilling one. It is the story of a girl who can see people's deaths and it is set in ww1 so she sees the fates of her brothers (one has gone off to war). Definitley an interesting read and Michael Sedgwig is a great writer and has a very stylistic and interesting way of writing! I would recommend to a...more
Liza
I liked the background information this book gave about me about the first world war especially since I need it for my English A Level class. But all in all, the story never really got me. I felt it was quite repetitive at times and in others just too good to be true. I mean, this is the war, people die in the war, it's hell on earth, but never do we get a proper description except for; what Alexandra saw was too horrible to describe. As for the end, it felt like the author got exceptionally bor...more
J.Elle
Alexandra can see other people’s deaths before they occur. This ability manifested itself when she was four and she saw her playmate, Claire, die in a vision. She continues to predict deaths and it upsets her parents and brothers who start denying that she has ability, until she is able to suppress it and deny it herself. Then Until World War 1 begins and her brothers enlist and she sees her older brother’s death in a vision. She hopes it’s nothing but a dream, but cannot deny that she still has...more
Taymara Jagmohan
Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedwick is a relief from all the tensions. Her relational brothers, Thomas and Edgar are wrapped within my one brother, and we have scuffles just like those.
The period of war during the time of growth and development also announces an irony between the head and hearts of families.
Alexandra who sees the future is weird, but nevertheless I read it through. I couldn't finish it, because it got pretty unimaginative, and I didn't learn a new word. The story line was insipid....more
Kuljit
I liked the book, but I found the chapters too short. I wouldn't usually pick up historical fiction books, so if you want to try out the genre, this may be a good start. It lacks character development, but it's a nice quick read.
Eleanor
Jan 24, 2008 Eleanor rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good book!
This book was so cool! I have read other books by this author and they were really good and this one lived up to the standards. It is about Alexandra and she finds out that she can see peoples deaths. Whenever she has a premonition she tries to tell people about it and warn them but no one will believe her. Then one night in a dream she sees the death of her brother Thomas and she is determined to changed the future.
She journeys from her comfortable home in England all the way to France. She se...more
Angelique
An interesting book that tied back to the Greek tragedy of Cassandra in numerous yet different ways. Alexandra was a great character, though I can't say she had the best of motives; however, she truly saw her selfishness as an act of valor. Her mindset felt age appropriate unlike a lot of characters who either seem too childish or adult for the circumstances befalling them. I wish we'd had more detail on all the characters and found out what came of Jack because he had quite the interesting back...more
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Hea...more
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“I'm just a girl in a nurse's uniform, but that doesn't mean I know how to save these men, and they- they are men in uniforms, but that doesn't mean they know how to die.” 22 likes
“And if I really can see the future, then what does it mean? Is there any sense in our lives if everything is already out there, just waiting to happen? For if that were so, then life would be a horrible monster indeed, with no chance of escape from fate, from destiny. It would be like reading a book, but reading it backwards, from the final chapter down to chapter one, so that the end is already known to you.” 6 likes
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