I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the stunning The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor. Thank you to Anne Cater and Harper Collins for giving me the opportunity to read and review this outstanding book.
About the book:
China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.
Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.
Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.
About the author:
Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Irish Times, bestselling author of historical fiction, including her debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown award.
She is published in thirteen languages and nineteen countries. Hazel is co-founder of creative writing events, The Inspiration Project, and currently lives in Ireland with her family, though originally from Yorkshire.
It isn’t very often a book leaves me speechless but The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor is one such book. It is breathtakingly beautiful, devastatingly honest and heartbreakingly moving. It is a book that gets under your skin, breaks your heart into a million pieces and then somehow manages to put it back together again. To put it quite simply, The Bird in the Bamboo Cage is stunning read that will stay in my heart forever.
It begins in 1941 China and tells the story of the life changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in the midst of the Second World War. Elspeth Kent finds her life changed forever when soldiers take over the missionary school where she works, leaving her fearing not only for her own life but also for the lives of the pupils in her charge. Ten year old Nancy has always felt safe at school, but now the enemy has arrived separating the children from their parents, with no one to turn to but their teachers. But then things become infinitely worse when the teachers and children are sent to a distant internment camp, where unimaginable hardship fraught with danger lies ahead.
Finding the right words to do this remarkable book justice is impossible to do. It is so beautifully written, with a depth of emotion that takes your breath away, leaving you stunned as you turn the final page. That it is based on a true story makes it an even more powerful read, moving you beyond words as the author breathes life into these characters, sweeping you along on a truly unforgettable journey of human resilience, courage and the power of friendship.
I knew very little about this period of World War 2 and my eyes were opened wide as I experienced everything alongside Elspeth and Nancy. Told from the alternating points of view of both adult and child, The Bird in the Bamboo Cage is a captivating read that instantly transported me to the sights and sounds of the internment camp, as the teachers did everything they could to protect the children in their care, shielding them from the unimaginable horrors taking place there.
Hazel Gaynor has written a mesmerising story that will stay with me always. Any words I write could never do the beauty held within the pages of this book justice. It left me speechless with emotion and in awe at the strength of these characters who had come to mean so much to me.
The Bird in the Bamboo Cage is a special read that left me feeling bereft as I turned the final page, not wanting this unforgettable story to end. I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough.
The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor is available to pre-order now: Amazon UK
Out August 20th 2020
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