Chris Mechling's new historical novel, Peter, introduces readers to the amazing true story behind the fairy tale of Peter Pan. The book tells the adventures of the real boy who came to London and became a well-known figure more than a hundred years before James Barrie penned his classic.
Peter the Wild Boy lived in eighteenth century England, through the reigns of three kings (all named George), and achieved legendary status in his own lifetime. He was not only a popular figure, but also drew intense philosophical and scientific study, and was a subject of interest to literary figures such as Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift. Peter retained a youthful appearance throughout his life, and had a joyful, intuitive spirit that was both challenging and infectious.
This imaginative dramatization of the life of Peter the Wild Boy captures the joy, innocence and fire of a bright, feral child living in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment. It is narrated by the girl who perhaps knew him best. The epic story of his life, spanning approximately seventy years, navigates a tumultuous and thoughtful period in English history, rich with characters.
This was a story that would be able to make even the coldest of hearts melt.
A beautifully light story that manages to take you back to the time period it was set, whilst also not being dull and boring, to even one of the younger generations minds. It was funny, charming and sad all in one, and also managed to be very interesting and informative, which I guess is the point of a historical novel.
This one, incidentally, my first historical novel, and I have to say that I did love it - it was something different, but in this case, that was a good thing.
The story line was clear and concise and it wasn't choppy or lost my attention at all, which I usually find with books inclined to a more older audience; which isn't a problem, but it was good that this book held that bit of an edge.
It was written beautifully and made me feel like I was a child again, being read a story by an adult before being tucked in and falling asleep - it held that kind of innocence that took you to a floaty place and I really enjoyed that.
So overall, this book exceeded my expectations and I look forward to reading more of Christopher Mechling's work.
***** 5/5 stars *****