Subversive Reader Reviews: Alice of Peppermint Grove (AWW2013)

Book reviews and AWW posts can be found here.

AWW2013 – Book 30

Alice of Peppermint Grove

Adventures of a Subversive Reader:Alice of Peppermint Grove

Davina Bell
Children’s Historical Fiction

Library Book, Moreton Bay Regional Libraries


The war is over, the men are coming home and Alice and her community are coming to terms with what the world is like now that the war is no longer the centre of their attention. Alice and Jilly are friends again, but Alice’s mother has lost her job at the bank and Alice’s brother, Teddy, has come back more affected than they ever expected.

This was probably the slowest of the three books I’ve read so far – at times it felt like the same things were happening, and it dragged a little. I still really like Alice and her family, but it felt like this book was a bit of a lead in to the finale, rather than a complete book of its own. The big question is about Alice’s ballet – will she ever pick it up again and what would give her the opportunity to do so?

In some ways I feel that a quiet book was needed, that there was a feeling of inertia after the war, a feeling that things should be changing and then everything coming to a halt – especially for women who had taken on so much during the war years. The era of the two world wars and the time in between is probably my favourite in historical fictions, and this idea of stasis is one I see in a lot of books. I’m really interested to see how it all plays out for Alice.



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