Dynamite Room, TheHewitt, Jason
The girl just wanting to find her mother and the Nazi Officer a long way from home; it is hard to say who is the more surprised when they both seek refuge in the same boarded-up house on the Suffolk coast. It is July 1940 and eleven year old Lydia has found her way home, not expecting to find the enemy on her doorstep. This taut psychological drama reduces a far- reaching war to the interactions of captor and hostage, confined to their claustrophobic setting and dependent on one another for their survival.
Powerfully conveyed by its strong characters, it is a compelling and unsettling story that broaches the possibility of redemption. [Larger font]
Comments from GroupsWe all enjoyed the book, and it was interesting that there were many different views expressed as we looked at it from different angles. We couldn't decide on the genre - a war story, or a thriller with a little bit of romance tossed in. It was hard to believe that it all happened over a 5 day period. Tauranga 023 Some found the flashbacks irritating, but on the whole agreed it was a gripping psychological thriller, which generated much discussion. Auckland 055 All found it a beautifully written book, but a depressing view of what 'war' did to people. Dunedin 072 Most found it an easy read, but the characters and much of the circumstances of the plot "unbelievable'. We felt it was a bit disjointed, with the author trying to put too many scenarios in it, but not developing them eg. Lydia's escape from the evacuee family, her mother's story and Eddie's death... Levin 001 The turgidity of the start of the book 'killed off' three of our group. They were unable to get more than 30-50 pages into it. But those who did, thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful and moving tale with an element of suspense. The book generated in-depth discussion. It was a story one learned from, and themes discussed ranged from: the psychology of entrapment and the 'Stockholm Syndrome', Brandenberger commando missions, the effects of war on people, to the moving relationships forged - and even to things as specific as the qualities of dynamite, cordite and nitro-glycerine. Christchurch 320 We all enjoyed this book and had a lively discussion. Timaru 007