Saturday, February 26, 2005

Review - The Secret Shelter by Sandi LeFaucheur

This time travel adventure story sees three children and their teacher journey from present day to World War II Britain, September 1940 to be precise. There they must cope with the terror of nightly bombing raids and the danger that lurks in the form of suspicion of anyone different.

Sophie Pinkerton tells the tale. Young and impressionable, she finds life in 1940 both terrifying and exhilarating as she and her friends live history rather than just read about it. Taken in by a young mother whose husband flies with the RAF, the four time travellers must adapt to their new circumstances while trying to find a way home. The hardest part is knowing what the future holds for their hostess. Dare they try to change the past?

The author does a good job of recreating war-time England taking her readers back to an era of terror and privation. Unfortunately the prose is awkward at times, especially the dialogue which features long speeches that don't ring true. However, the fast pace and well-plotted story do much to make up for this deficiency. Youngsters with an interest in history will likely enjoy this intriguing read.

© Teresa Eckford, 2004

This review first appeared in the February 2005 issue of The Historical Novels Review

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