The History of a Word 02/07/20
Postcards from No Mans Land
Publisher: Random House
In this, the fifth of six novels which explore different aspects of teenage love and self-discovery, Chambers explores a number of provocative philosophical and ethical issues.
The stories of Geertrui, a terminally ill Dutch woman in her seventies, and Jacob, a 17-year-old English boy visiting Amsterdam, are linked by another Jacob, a young British soldier who parachuted into Arnhem in 1944. Geertrui tells her own story, Jacob's is told for him, but each narrative moves inexorably towards the other, exploring relationships, sexuality, life and death, and offering readers the opportunity to examine their own reactions to the dilemmas posed.
Powerfully and poetically written, the novel also provides a vivid addition to wartime reminiscences like those of Anne Frank. A moving, richly-layered and atmospheric novel that will challenge and inspire readers, it was a worthy winner of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal.