Postcards from No Man's Land

Postcards from No Man's Land

by Aidan Chambers

Jacob's plan is to go to Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during World War II.

Jacob isn't prepared for love--or to face questions about his sexuality.

Most of all, he isn't prepared to hear what Geertrui, the woman who nursed his grandfather during the war, has to say about their relationship.

And like Jacob, Geertrui was not prepared.

Geertrui and Jacob live worlds apart, but their voices blend together to tell one story--a story that transcends time and place and war.

  • Series: The Dance Sequence
  • Language: English
  • Category: Young Adult
  • Rating: 3.68
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: May 27th 2002 by Dutton Juvenile
  • Isbn10: 0525468633
  • Isbn13: 9780525468639

What People Think about "Postcards from No Man's Land"

La cosa bella di Chambers è proprio questa: parla al lettore con assoluta chiarezza, trattando senza timore e con assoluto rispetto tematiche particolarmente difficili di cui tutti, almeno una volta nella vita, hanno bisogno di sentir parlare.

One story covers the travels of seventeen-year old Jacob Todd who visits Amsterdam from England for a memorial service honoring his late grandfather, with the same name, who died during World War II. The other story tells of Geertrui and her family in 1944; they care for the soldier Jacob Todd during the war.

It is likely that this book would have remained largely unnoticed if it consisted only of young Jacobs account of his time in Amsterdam. The book is carried by the far more compelling perspective of Geertrui, a young woman during the war, who reminisces on her deathbed about her time as Jacob Srs lover. Although likely to be appreciated by high school teachers looking for historical fiction about World War II, teens are likely to be turned off by the slow moving story, which had too many meandering plot lines to be able to pull this reader.

Mi ha delusa profondamente il fatto che alla fine non ci fosse un capitolo che spiegasse il dopo, come andrà la storia, cosa faranno i personaggi.

The title and cover do make sense at the end of the story, but neither are appealing to teens who might actually like the book.

There are two narrators: Jacob, a seventeen year-old from England; and Geertrui, an aged woman in Amsterdam. Jacob is sent by his grandmother to meet Geertrui, who cared for his grandfather when he was injured in the struggle to free the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.

This isn't my stereotypical kind of read - I don't often read historical books or anything similar to this one. Despite this, and knowing that this is not my typical kind of read, I decided to borrow this book from my local library to try something new! The only kind of historical books I've enjoyed have been the "Horrible Histories" series while I was in school, and Lili Wilkinson's Scatterheart. At first I wasn't sure how exactly the story was being told - the book being about Jacob and learning about his Grandfather, also named Jacob, that fought in the Second World War. I was initially confused about why there were chapters about Geertui, a young girl, but this confusion was resolved quite quickly. You have Ton, Daan and Simone in an open relationship. Not only the typical couple, but open relationships that can include three or more people.

Le cartoline, e io adoro mandarle e riceverle, anche se effettivamente non ci sono cartoline fisiche nella storia, e Amsterdam, una città stupenda, di cui mi sono innamorata nelle poche ore che ho trascorso passeggiando per le sue strade. Ma qui Chambers fa di più, prende i ricordi della seconda guerra mondiale e li unisce a un ragazzino che cerca la sua strada nel mondo, regalando una storia a più dimensioni, ricca e speciale. catapultato in una realtà che non conosce, cerca di adattarsi con i mezzi che ha a disposizione, ma la sua sopravvivenza è più determinata dalla generosità di chi incontra che dal suo spirito di adattamento. E poi cè Gertrui che racconta la sua storia in prima persona, gli anni della Seconda Guerra Mondiale, linvasione tedesca, e larrivo degli americani giunti a liberare unEuropa stanca e distrutta dai colpi del nazismo. Jacob, laltro protagonista, deve affrontare due viaggi uno nella storia, nel passato e uno dentro di sé per capire chi è e da dove viene, per arrivare lì dove vuole arrivare. Tra laltro Chambers aggiunge un corollario di personaggi secondari avvincenti e speciali, a partire da Ton, che impartiranno a Jacob più lezioni di quante avrebbe mai immaginato, aprendogli gli occhi su una realtà che è molto complessa e incredibilmente affascinante. (view spoiler)Ma soprattutto Chambers affronta, con delicatezza e senza dare alcun tipo di risposta universale un tema che ormai ci riguarda da vicino, che ci soffoca, che ci obbliga ad aprire gli occhi e a riflettere, un tema sconvolgente, che di certo non possiamo soprassedere.

This book discusses the burden of knowledge, war-time decisions, and being a stranger in a foreign land while also transcending both time and place. However, I do have to say that its the moral and ethical dilemmas, for me, that drive this book.

After two years in the Royal Navy as part of his National Service, Chambers trained as a teacher and taught for three years at Westcliff High School in Southend on Sea before joining an Anglican monastery in Stroud, Gloucestershire in 1960.