Saturday, April 9, 2016

I am David by Anne Holm

This is a classic that I have wanted to read for a while and once I started it was all over in a weekend because i just couldn't put it down!
David is such a likeable character who is just so grateful for life, after he escapes a concentration camp.  His life is definitely not simple once he escapes and he is constantly looking over his shoulder for 'them', which makes an interesting reflection on society and how we view those who we fear.
The story also has a great twist at the end that is worth staying the distance.

To give you a sense of his life, here is an excerpt of how much we take for granted and yet how unprivileged his life is...
Yes, it was going to be interesting to see what a house looked like!  And he thought of all the words he would now be able to use.  He knew many words he had never used because he was afraid that, not knowing the things they referred to, he might use them wrongly and show his ignorance.  Besides, he would have felt silly saying words without really knowing what they meant.  Sheets.  Imagine sleeping every night in a soft bed like that where you did not feel cold... and between soft white sheets where you knew everything around you was perfectly clean!

David's significant other is a man called Johannes, who reminds me of my grandfather in how he thinks and speaks.  He inspires something grand to be proud of without being a grand person.  It is one of those difficult to describe qualities that just makes you want to be more like that person, without fully understanding why.  Here's his advice to David...
But Johannes had said, "Politeness is something you owe other people, because when you show a little courtesy, everything becomes easier and better.  But first and foremost it is something you owe yourself.  You are David.  And if you never allow other people to influence what you're really like, then you've something no one can take from you - not even they.  Never mind what others are like - you must still be David.  Do you understand what I mean?"
p. 121

'I am David' is a short and thoroughly enjoyable book, but be warned, once you pick it up, you will want to stay with David for the journey.

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