Jo's Reviews > Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
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's review
Feb 28, 2012

really liked it

Another excellent read by one of my favourite authors! My son is studying this book at school so a good time for me to read it too!

This book is about one family - the Peacefuls. The father dies in a tragic accident leaving the mother to bring up three children who are Big Joe, Charlie and Tommo. The first part of the book is about their day to day life, school and dealing with their Aunt and the Colonel. The book shows how tricky life is for the family, especially the mother who has to work extremely hard for the Colonel who owns all the land and the house they live in. This part of the book deals with friendship, bullying, loyalty, guilt and bravery.

The second part moves to the battlefields and trenches of World War One. The Colonel puts pressure on Charlie and Tommo to sign up to join the war. The book gives insights into “the great war to end all wars”. You see how naive and buoyant the young soldiers are at the start of their time in the war and then the gradual reality dawning on them of the horrors they are about to face. There are horrific descriptions of what it was like in the trenches, no man’s land and an extremely graphic scene of a gas attack.

The book highlights the plight of soldiers who desert or stand up for themselves in the army. I don’t want to ruin the end of the book for readers who have not read it but my god what an absolute waste!

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