A boy stood in the playground under the big fig tree. ‘He can’t speak English,’ the children whispered.
Sydney, 1942. The war is coming to Australia – not only with the threat of bombardment, but also the arrival of refugees from Europe. Dreamy Columba’s world is growing larger. She is drawn to Ellery, the little boy from far away, and, together with her highly practical best friend Hilda, the three children embark on an adventure through the harbour-side streets – a journey of discovery and terror, in pursuit of the mysterious blue cat …
Thanks to Allen and Unwin for sending me a copy of THE BLUE CAT for review.
WHAT I LOVED:
This was an insightful short story told from the perspective of a young girl during WWII. Firstly, I want to say that I love reading book set in Australia because it’s always nice to hear about things from home, plus I LOVE Sydney and it was so cool to hear about locations that I knew and could picture.
Ursula’s writing style was simple, yet beautiful which makes it an inviting read for readers of all ages.
There were pictures, newspaper articles and primary sources scattered throughout the book to add to the story that was being told. I thought that this was such a nice touch because it definitely helped me visualise the story and it was interesting to read first hand accounts on the war.
It was a nice and quick story with a simple and easy to understand story line. I finished this in one sitting not only because of the small page number count, but also because the story was so easy to follow. This left a lasting impression.
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE:
There was a lack of the cat. I mean, the title is about this blue cat, and the synopsis suggests that the cat has all these secrets, but we barely ever get to see this cat. I get that it’s probably supposed to symbolise something, but I didn’t quite get WHAT.
There was very little character building or development. Our main character, Columba’s personality didn’t shine for me, and neither did the other characters that she encountered with. Not even the cat!
I also just feel like SOMETHING was missing from the book. It felt like there was a bit of suspense leading up to something, which I am all for. But then the book ended, and that was it. It just kind of ended and I felt slightly unsatisfied with what happened throughout the book and how it ended.
I still think that The Blue Cat was a nice and quick story set, and it was interesting to read about Australia’s view on the war which is something that we don’t see often. If this is something that interests you, than I recommend The Blue Cat because it does give an insightful intake on this topic.
Comment below if you’ve read this book and let me know your thoughts.
HISTORICAL FICTION that I’ve enjoyed previously:
The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak
Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin
Prisoner of Night and Fog duology – Anne Blankman