At the time he wrote this book Ross Welford could hardly have known how much more topical it might become by the time it was published. When the story begins, the world is on the brink of World War Three. Willa and new friend Manny, living in a seaside town in north east England, find their way into a parallel dimension, where they and their families live in a world that has been free of war since the 1960s. In the ‘sideways world’, this freedom has given humankind the opportunity to tackle some of the other problems that beset us, including climate change, pollution and global economic inequality. It’s an interesting and challenging idea, not only for the reader to think about how things might have worked out differently but for the author to work out all the narrative possibilities and problems that this scenario presents. There’s quite a lot of scope at the domestic level for how things might be different at home and at school for Willa and Manny, although it might only be in a fantasy that the absence of war would somehow work through to bullies being nicer or your parents not arguing so much. Nor are readers likely to be convinced that wars can be stopped by the conversation of a well-meaning ordinary citizen with the President of the United States. However, considering it’s potentially such a weighty subject, Ross Welford keeps it light, with plenty of plot twists, humour and thrills. And, although both Manny and Willa commendably decide to face up to life in their own imperfect world, it all ends spectacularly well for everyone. If only wishing made it so.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2022-03-22 11:11:232022-03-22 11:11:23Into the Sideways World