It is a measure of Michael Morpurgo’s storytelling skill that, in a relatively short tale, beginning in Australia, he can tie together Greek gods and heroes, a talking fish, and a story of Second World War heroism. His Australian narrator is Nandi, short for Amanda. Her great aunt Elena (Aunt Ellie) visits often from Greece and introduces her niece to the country’s language, myths and legends. When eventually Elena feels too old to make the long journey south, Nandi decides to visit her aunt at home in Ithaca, the home of Nandi’s grandfather and the island of Odysseus and Penelope. However, when Nandi makes her surprise visit, Aunt Ellie is nowhere to be found. The flying fish, the god Proteus in another form, has had a role already in encouraging Nandi to make the trip to Greece. Now he takes over as narrator, introducing Nandi to Elena’s backstory. Elena’s war takes up most of the second half of the book. Whatever the skill of the author, it might tax some readers’ patience to wait until page seventy-five for the adventure to begin, especially as the narrator makes frequent promises that something exciting will happen soon. But Nandi’s love of Greece and her heartfelt relationship with her aunt are well portrayed; and Ellie’s return to Ithaca holds a surprise for Nandi that is entirely in keeping with what she has learnt of her great aunt’s life.
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 Hill2021-11-19 08:00:592021-11-19 08:01:03When Fishes Flew: The Story of Elena’s War