Mister Pip – Llyod Jones

I missed the Book Group this month which also means until now I missed posting the book under discussion, which fortunately I didn’t miss reading.  Mister Pip by Llyod Jones is a wonderful if at sometimes distressing book, set on an island in the Pacific it is the tale of how one young girl survives the turmoil of civil war that surrounds her.  An unexpected school teacher helps the children of an isolated village to find escape from the horrors of their reality by introducing them to Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.  In doing so causes unexpected consequences, for him and for all the villagers, while Matilda finds in Pip she has the kind of best friend who is always by your side.

The characters in the book are wonderfully painted with Jones words, all of them leaping from the page their struggles, joys, hopes and fears grabbing my attention and demanding I read on to find out what happened.  There are scenes of great braveness in which there is also utter cowardice; scenes of repulsion which also contain tenderness; scenes of despair transformed into hope.

The book doesn’t stop when you expect it to, instead it moves on to answer some of those questions that such books often leave you with, the characters continue to be fleshed out over the last chapters, leaving me for one more satisfied than I might have otherwise been.

All in all a book well worth reading.  Now all I have to do is read Great Expectations again, and as it would happen the Book Group felt the same and so that Dickens classic is to be our next read!


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