On Hope Farm by Peggy Frew

A couple of weeks ago Amanda and I thought it would be a good idea to pick a book to read from the Stella Prize long list (before the shortlist was announced). But as usual, whenever I feel like I have to read something, I never can. In the end, I didn’t even look at the long list and I read a couple other great books.

Then last week, just before the shortlist was announced, I finally decided to have a look and see if I could find something I wanted to read. I picked Hope Farm by Peggy Frew. Why did I pick this particular book? Well I liked the cover and then after reading the blurb I thought it was a book I would really enjoy; I like books that are told from a child’s perspective.

Hope Farm tells the story of 13 year old Silver growing up and surviving in a world where adults (even her mother Ishtar) seem to forget Silver is a child and needs love and attention.

Even before I finished the book I couldn’t stop talking about it. I was tweeting madly letting everyone know how much I was enjoying it. Now, the question I ask myself is why? Is it enough just to say it had a good story with believable characters? No it’s not, because that wouldn’t be doing the book justice.

Hope Farm was an amazing book that grabbed me right from the start. I was a bit worried the literary style (lots of descriptive words) would be a bit over the top, but it wasn’t. It only intensified the emotions I was feeling reading Silver and Ishtar’s story. I could so very clearly see their lives and share their feelings. Throughout the story there were times when I had knots in my stomach and had so many thoughts and emotions running through my head that I had to stop and take a break from reading. I think Peggy Frew is a great writer to be able to describe characters and emotions the way she did in Silver and Ishtar. I loved the way both Silver and Ishtar got to tell their own stories, it helped create a better understanding of how they got to where they were.

Hope Farm is the book I am going to make everyone read this year and it will go in my special pile of books – the ones I keep and re-read.

Thank you Peggy Frew for writing a wonderful story that is still occupying my thoughts well after finishing it. I am even sitting here looking at the cover while I write thinking, should I just read a few chapters?

As you may have already guessed I am going to give this book a 5/5 rating.

Jody

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