Most helpful positive review
Great book, but definately for kids 14+
on January 27, 2004
This book is very different. There are two main characters, one a 17 year old English boy in the 90's and a Dutch family friend who is dying in his time, but knew his grandfather during WWII. The book is set in Amsterdam, so it incorporates a lot of Dutch, which is frustrating at first, but then it becomes second nature to find the translation of the phrase, or to remember it from earlier, and this adds to the sense of place.
There are a lot of adult themes covered in this book, so it's best if you have a mature teenager reading it, and are prepared to discuss it afterwards. Some of those topics include: homosexuality, bisexuality, euthanasia, war, and marital fidelity.
This book is well written, so chances are that you won't get lost, and the different writing styles make it difficult to get bored. As soon as something gets exciting in one part of the story, it switches off, making you want more.
Belongs on the bookshelf of the mature adolescent, and the discerning adult reader of adolescent fiction.