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Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan…

Postcards from No Man's Land (1999)

by Aidan Chambers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dance Sequence (5)

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6822021,260 (3.68)32
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    Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: Astonishing similarities between these two books

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Details the parallel stories of a Dutch woman falling in love with an English soldier whom she nurses and hides during WWII and of a young man visiting Amsterdam for the first time while dealing with his occasional bouts of depression, his social anxiety and his sexuality. The two plots are joined by the relationship of the young man (grandson) and the soldier (grandfather).
There are good things about this one (the stories are good and I enjoyed the way in which they are entwined), but Chambers tries to do too much here, taking on not only the telling of two separate tales and the fleshing out of two main characters, but also trying to add a history of a specific instance during the war via direct quotes from first-hand accounts, along with philosophical dialogue on the nature of love, the pointlessness of war and even a slightly hackneyed pro-and-con on euthanasia. The result feels disjointed and cluttered. ( )
  electrascaife | Jan 6, 2018 |
So now I feel incredibly old fashioned. Young adult fiction? Definitely not like the fiction when I was a young adult. Definitely not the fiction I'd be pleased to have my children read as young adults. Maybe I'm incredibly naive, but having such sexual/near sexual experiences at 17 blows my mind.

The scenes aren't too graphic, but enough to cause me discomfort. And even though I don't like some description, what was offered was slanted. This is very obviously written by a man who thinks penises are the end all. Good descriptions of at least three of those. And even though there are actually male-female experiences here, not much mention of her parts. Weird.

Quite surprised this won so many awards. I'd not recommend this book. To anyone. ( )
  MahanaU | Feb 26, 2016 |
Jacob goes to Holland to attend a memorial for his grandfather, a British soldier who died there during WWII. His stay is short, but he makes discoveries about himself, others and a long-hidden family secret. ( )
  lilibrarian | Mar 9, 2015 |
Long dialogs are boring at times, some good historical information, the historical part of the book would have made a far better book on its own ( )
  WetheReaders | Apr 27, 2013 |
My first attempt at an Aidan Chambers novel since I failed to finish “Dance on my Grave” whose explicitness stunned my teenage self many years ago. This one had its moments – I suspect this author likes raising the issue of sexual freedom. I did finish it without difficulty, and very much appreciated its depiction of the Nazi occupation of Holland, as well as modern life in Amsterdam. In particular I found the depiction of the commemoration ceremony for the Battle of Arnhem, interspersed with factual accounts of the actual events, particularly effective.

Though its wartime theme is something which has been done by other authors, this had an individual feel, as though the author was determined to take it in certain directions whatever anyone else thought. My only issue was the voice of the modern day protagonist Jacob – for a seventeen-year-old he came across astonishingly (unbelievably) mature and ridiculously naive by turns – it was hard to place him. Maybe that’s the nature of 17 year old boys but somehow I’m not convinced. ( )
  jayne_charles | Apr 11, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Great book to curl up with, blankets & cocoa required.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aidan Chambersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hansson, JanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuick, KatarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Not knowing his way around, he set off back the way he had come. But changed his mind about picking up a tram to the railway station, not yet ready to return to Haarlem, and kept on walking along the canal, the Prinsengracht, still too jangled by what he had just seen to notice where he was and too preoccupied to wonder where he was going.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142401455, Paperback)

Seventeen-year-old Jacob Todd is about to discover himself. Jacob's plan is to go to Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during World War II. He expects to go, set flowers on his grandfather's tombstone, and explore the city. But nothing goes as planned. Jacob isn't prepared for love&150or to face questions about his sexuality. Most of all, he isn't prepared to hear what Geertrui, the woman who nursed his grandfather during the war, has to say about their relationship. Geertrui was always known as Jacob's grandfather's kind and generous nurse. But it seems that in the midst of terrible danger, Geertrui and Jacob's grandfather's time together blossomed into something more than a girl caring for a wounded soldier. And like Jacob, Geertrui was not prepared. Geertrui and Jacob live worlds apart, but their voices blend together to tell one story&150a story that transcends time and place and war. By turns moving, vulnerable, and thrilling, this extraordinary novel takes the reader on a memorable voyage of discovery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Alternates between two stories--contemporarily, seventeen-year-old Jacob visits a daunting Amsterdam at the request of his English grandmother--and historically, nineteen-year-old Geertrui relates her experience of British soldiers's attempts to liberate Holland from its German occupation.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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