A very difficult book to categorize -- doesn't fit well on any of my shelves. Even more difficult to review.
Goodreads readers' reviews of it are all over the map. It's really several very different books within one cover and they don't get along with each other. There are serious flaws, starting with a middle aged white guy attempting to write in the voice of a 13 year old black girl living in a fairly primitive south Pacific island setting, caught in the middle of a vicious civil war. The mask never fits. Then there's the overly gratuitous brutality of the faction called the "redskins"! Really??
All of which is too bad because the character of Mr. Watts is intriguing and his ability to translate a 19th century English classic into a life-changing experience for the local kids makes for a remarkable story. Perhaps best of all is some of the inspired prose that Watts and his wife had posted on the walls of their child's room. Finally, each reader will have to make up their own mind about the degree to which Jones goes for a free ride on "Great Expectations"; it worked for me but it is problematic.
Those comparing it to Life of Pi are off base. Despite all of that, 2 1/2 stars.

wyenotgo's rating:
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