Sunday, 1 February 2009
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Every month I go to a book club that was set up by my avid book reading friend Darcy. I don't always have the time to read the monthly book (although I do try my best!). However, this month I excelled myself and read two books. The choice this month was totally up to us and I chose Crow Lake by Mary Lawson which was very good, and my second choice was Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. Mister Pip was an exceptional read - a real rollercoaster of a ride with some pretty horrific scenes in it but these were essential to the story, particularly as the island Bougainville where the story is set actually exists. I won't spoil the story - just to say that the book is based on this island in the 1990's where education has been suspended due to outside influences. The consequence of this is that the only white man on the island, Mr Watts is asked to teach the children and does so by reading one of the greatest books of all time - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The children are engrossed in this novel which allows some of them to 'escape' the world they are living in. Lloyd Jones' writing is exceptional and he writes through the experiences of a 14 year old girl which is not an easy thing to achieve. I am very glad that I have read this book and it made me want to find out more about the island and the people living there. I imagine that this book could be (if it already isn't) on the reading lists for GCSE O Level/A Level English Literature pupils. I think that this would have been better than the options I took which were William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Joan of Arc by George Bernard Shaw. What was on your exam reading list?