“After that it was easy. It was the most impossible thing I’d ever done, but it was also easy. I held on to Jamie, and I kept moving forward.” ― Kimberly Brubaker Bradley,
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.
Book: The War that Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.43/5 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Overview. This book has been on my TBR for a while now and I finally decided to pick it up. I’m so glad that I did. Bradley did something amazing with a story that I wasn’t expecting. I truly love going into books blind and only relying on the amazing things I had heard about the book to lead me in. This book was one of those that it really paid off. To begin with, I’m always hesitant to start an historical fiction book… Why? Who knows. I’ve enjoyed every single one that I have picked up thus far so who knows where my hesitance has come in.
The story follows Ada and her brother Jamie through World War II. Ada is forced to face abuse day after day from her own mother because she was born with a club foot. Ada is never allowed to leave the small apartment that she, her mother and brother live in and faces other terrible abuses day in and day out. She is forced to watch people, including her brother, from the window in the kitchen of the apartment and scoot around on her butt if she needs to get anywhere since she can’t walk on her club foot.
At the height of the second World War, children in London are evacuated to the English countryside. Ada and her brother are taken in by a very weary, Miss Smith who turns out to be nothing like what the children are used to. The rest of the story follows the relationships and growth that Ada, her brother and Miss Smith face in the impending war.
Pros. Like I said before, I have been really hesitant to pick up any historical fiction. This book makes me want to read more. I love how Bradley puts you right in the middle of one of the toughest times in history, and not only that but with a handicapped lead character as well. Ada was something else, I’ve never met a character like her ever before and her attitude even in the toughest times was so refreshing. There were so many times she could have just given up but wouldn’t. She did not let her foot, her mother, or any other circumstances stop her from doing what she wanted to do. She is a force to be reckoned with and I love her so much.
Every relationship in this book was amazing. There were so many different relationship styles within just a few characters it really made the book that much more interesting. Ada and Jamie’s relationships with their mother was the most interesting to me. I learned so much about both characters through that relationship and it was a work of art.
The story in general was something that I loved as well. There was not a second of this book that I was bored through. Bradley kept me entertained the whole time and I constantly couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen. Especially the anticipation of Mam coming to get Ada and Jamie at any time from Miss Smith. I felt the anxiety that Ada held throughout her stat with Miss Smith.
Cons. Honestly, there’s not much that I can think of that I didn’t like about this book. Sometimes I didn’t like Jamie or Ada’s reaction to things Mam did, but then I remember that they are children and she is their mother. They know no other way of life. Ada was very stubborn sometimes, but if she wasn’t stubborn she never would have taught herself to walk. So needless to say, every con I came up with in my mind was quickly rebutted.
Overall. I’m so glad that I am able to add this book to my “read” shelf. It really was worth it and it didn’t take long to read by any means. I enjoyed the whole book and would definitely read it again. 5/5 stars.