Clem, a working-class boy living in government-assisted housing, and Frankie, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, must keep their relationship secret. If it’s discovered, their world will be blown apart. But unknown to them, President John F. Kennedy and the Russian leader, Nikita Khruschev, are shaping up to do just that - blow the world apart - as the two leaders fight over a small island in the Caribbean Sea, leading up to the events that will later be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. For Frankie and Clem, “time, like everything else, is against them.” In his most brilliant and ambitious novel yet, Mal Peet portrays the shattering power of love and the ricocheting effect of war through generations.
This is a really lovely book. It's a love story set against the background of the beginning of the cold war. However, it's more of an "Atonement" love story than a typical YA love story.
This seems much more mature to me than a lot of YA fiction. The writing is superb. Peet has a way with words that lingers in your head for days. However, readers may not be expecting such a slow moving novel. There's a lot of great detail here, but not a great deal of action. To me, it was a perfect capturing of a time and a place. A delight to listen to.
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