“And, even if wars didn’t keep coming like glaciers, there would still be plain old death.”
These days I have been preoccupied with war and the senselessness that accompanies. I have taken up a keen interest in the literature that portrays the pretentiousness that follows the very famous saying, “war is glorious”. Just so you know it’s not. It’s gory, horrifying and murderous. War leads and death follows. However, the theme of the novel that I am about to discuss is quite different. The War That Saved My Life shares the setting of World War II and the bombings in London, but the word ‘war’ in this novel isn’t limited to the heavy machinery and air raids. It discusses War at a metaphorical level as well. That too through the eyes of a very young girl of 11 named Ada, who with her clubfoot fights a war of her own as the novel progresses. The novel deals with identity crisis and the need for a sense of belonging. If you’re looking for a book that deals with some information about War in England at that time, I wont say this is the best option, for it mostly concentrates around the story of this young girl and her struggles due to her deformity. Still, its fun to read, gives and idea about the condition of people during that time and I guess it just helps you understand them and divert from the view that the higher-class had of the war who pretty much got away with everything.
I became interested in this novel because I had just finished with The Book Thief recently which FYI is another great book when it comes to war. I for most part was interested in the conflicting perspectives. Both the books share the lives of two girls whose countries were involved in War against each other at that time. I think it brought the concept of ‘every story has two sides’ when I read both the novels consecutively. I really hope you enjoy reading the novel, if you are going to read it that is.
It started from scratch
which was all black and white
from before, it isn’t just a tale
rather a feeling left untold
it stays with me for its too smooth
to puncture the balloons of ignorance
not helium no. No not helium
Just life and their own perceptions,
so smooth it was it only caressed
it tried to envelop them as a whole
but the surface was sticky,
sticky ’cause of their sticky thoughts.
So I just slipped, never went through.
Not my feelings, not I.
When I see colours, I am afraid
I am confused, to be envious or scared
But the colours they come to me
Your colours come to me and paint me
from head to toe
No more black and white from before.
The colour of war, the colour of love,
the colour of Hate the colour of you.
Its pretty and disastrous
but its just the world around me
Should I feel familiar or hopeless?
I feel confused I feel lost
With the corner of my eye I trace that colour
White, I recognise it from before
Its familiar and soothing
The colour of peace.
As I learn of the other colours
as I see their shades and natures
I love White more and more.