MY BOOK REVIEW: ‘THE CORAL BOY’
The first three chapters of this book paint such a dark picture of life within the context of this book, it is almost enough to put you off the story straight away. For this reason, I feel it does take a few good chapters to get into the book and you have to persist with it. However, once you are in, you are hooked.
This book historicAl fiction set in the mid 1700s and covers a time period of at least 10 years. Due to the time period this book is set in, Gavin uses some really fantastic vocabulary throughout the book, which, if you were reading the story with children, would provide such great talking points as well as supportin the vivid imagery Gavin manages to create in this novel.
Gavin develops a wonderfully complex narrative throughout the story, weaving the lives of the characters in and out of each other so that there is no one main character, but each is vital to the outcome of the story. The first half of the story is predominantly character building and setting description, and Gavin manages to create very rich and complex characters. Again, this provides so much content for a class who might study the book as the decriptive language used for each character and setting is outstanding.
The second half of the book is much more focused on the plot. Despite a 9-year time gap in the book and subsequently new characters are introduced, the bulk of the ‘action’ in the story happens in the second half. Without the deep character construction from the first half of the book it would have certainly lost some of its impact.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, despite disliking it immensely at the same time! This is definitely due to the fact that Gavin does not shy away from cruel characters and heart breaking story plots. However, as previously mentioned the depth of character created and the complex plot twist means you cannot put this book down. Careful study different sections of this book would provide rich vocabulary and content for use when you are in public, however, this is not a story I would choose to read with anyone in secondary school, depending on the person. Some of the topics/issues in the story require a mature mind to approach it and take enjoyment from it.
An unusual yet brilliant read nonetheless.