In this sequel to the juvenile novel The War That Saved My Life, 11-year-old Ada is finally able to walk properly after surgery on her clubfoot. Though healed physically, her psychological scars continue to define and limit her. Ada’s abusive mother had kept her trapped in their London apartment, refusing to allow her to go to school or to interact with anyone in their neighborhood. Ada had escaped the apartment with her younger brother, Jamie, and had been evacuated from London to the countryside because Hitler’s forces were bombing the city.
Now, as they live with their guardian Susan, a loving mother figure, the war with its deprivations and terrors continue to influence their daily lives. When a 16-year-old German Jewish girl named Ruth moves in with them, tensions escalate, and Ada’s fears and distrust intensify. Who is this girl? A spy? Will she hurt them?
As the girls get to know each other, Ada begins to understand that some wars are fought first of all in the human heart and are won only when trust and love are given room to grow and flourish.
This beautifully written novel gives young readers a picture of life in England during World War II. It sensitively portrays Ada’s internal conflicts about spirituality and religion, her valiant struggles to overcome her fears, and the brave choices she makes to help the people whom she has finally come to love and trust. Ages 8 and up. (Dial Books)