Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

About the book

Bougainville, 1991. A small village on a lush tropical island in the South Pacific. Eighty-six days have passed since Matilda’s last day of school as, quietly, war is encroaching from the other end of the island.
When the villagers’ safe, predictable lives come to a halt, Bougainville’s children are surprised to find the island’s only white man, a recluse, re-opening the school. Pop Eye, aka Mr Watts, explains he will introduce the children to Mr Dickens. Matilda and the others think a foreigner is coming to the island and prepare a list of much needed items. They are shocked to discover their acquaintance with Mr Dickens will be through Mr Watts’ inspiring reading of Great Expectations.
But on an island at war, the power of fiction has dangerous consequences. Imagination and beliefs are challenged by guns.

Reviewed by Museum Book Group

A really good read. Based on fact – civil war on an isolated tropical island. The horrific effect on Matilda, children, parents and rebel force and how they react to the story Great Expectations is gripping
Star rating ***

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1 thought on “Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones”

  1. Review by Ringwood U3A Group 2
    Our group was unanimous in its praise for this story which was multi-layered. It included emotions stirred by feelings of loss, jealousy and fear. The simplified tale of Great Expectations was used to great effect and parallels drawn with life on a Papua New Guinea island. The ending of the book however drew some criticism with a debate about how necessary it was and did it really add anything important to the story.
    Star rating: *** +1/2

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