I would like to thank my grandfather Mr. Umesh Kamath for giving me this book from an evergreen never-ending golden collection of classic rich literature that he has possessed for several years. What is so amazing is that he has preserved a special set of books so meticulously, he enjoys sharing the goodness of books over several generations: To my mom, to my brother and myself, and to my nephew as well! Each book he hands over, he never fails to write a simple customized note to the receiver of the books which shows utmost enthusiasm and respect that he has not only for books but for people too! I dedicate this review to him! 😇
Set in 1917, a young boy David makes an escape from the concentration camps set in an unnamed location somewhere in Eastern Europe and journey’s towards the goal of reaching back to his mother to live a life of normalcy. How he makes his way through after freeing himself, the people he meets outside of the camp and his random experiences is what makes this tale come together.
This novel is a fiction but set in somewhat real time circumstances assuming the history and timelines to be non-fiction and the author has built this story for the children’s literature genre to help the audience understand what might have been the plight of families, specially innocent children in the age and setting of the ghastly concept of concentration camps. The tale starts with David making an escape from the camp with the help of a prison guard (who at the back story, was attracted to David’s mother and had saved her to be free but did not reveal to her that David was alive) and the separation from his friend who was with him in the camp and has died of an attack. The guard who let’s him away gives him certain directions to help him get back to his country and his home. David who manages to sail many boats and ships to traverse to few countries where he lives in a cave for some days, finds himself wandering on the street and even takes refugee with a family who treats him as an adopted member for a while. Along the journey, David understands the beauty of the world and he notices a change in his behavior with people’s interactions along the way. He finally meets a lady, an artist by profession who happens to tell him of his own story and that of his mother who had managed to escape the concentration camp and David comes to know where his mother is. He travels mountains and meets more people who use him to make him do work as he takes shelter and finally finds a way to continue on search for his mother. The sum total of David’s experiences gives a conclusion of how life is defined of both good and bad turns that is offered and how we should take life with a pinch of salt and enjoy the affirmatives that we get along the journey.
As for my views on this book, it ain’t the most spectacular thing I have ever read nor is it demanding for perfection in its script, but it is a nice heartwarming tale that teaches you about the horrible past that actually existed in real and how people must have gone through it. If you want something that teaches you to be aware of history along with a combination of a fresh take on the journey of life, this novel is for you! 🙂