The Goose Road by Rowena House

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406371673
(Age: 12 and up) Highly recommended. "France 1916. Angelique Lacroix is haymaking when the postman delivers the news: her father is dead, killed on a distant battlefield. She makes herself a promise: the farm will remain exactly the same until her beloved older brother comes home from the Front. "I think of it like a magical spell. If I can stop time, if nothing ever changes, then maybe he won't change either." But a storm ruins the harvest, her mother falls ill and then the requisition appears... In a last-ditch attempt to save the farm from bankruptcy, Angelique embarks on a journey across France with her brother's flock of magnificent Toulouse geese." Publisher
It does not take a lot to convince me to read any novel about World War 1 and this was no exception. I found it really hard to put down. House did a fantastic job in developing Angelique and I found myself turning each page hoping only the best for her. As she begins to unravel more and more secrets about her abusive father, the girl is torn between hatred for him and a sense of guilt that he did not survive the war. Set in France in 1916, fourteen year old Angelique takes it upon herself to save the family farm for the long awaited return of her brother who is serving in the army.
The reader is drawn into the atrocities of war and the guilt felt by so many who were not actually away fighting, as well as the hardships and hunger faced by so many and the different roles that people had to take on. Disaster after disaster strikes including the requisition of animals, gossip, unpaid gambling debts and the breakdown of her mother all contribute to a difficult journey experienced by Angelique. Themes such as hardship, anger, determination, resilience and friendship are discovered throughout the story. A must have to add to the library collection.
Kathryn Schumacher