The Story ~
‘Far to Go’ is the story of the Bauer family, Pavel, Anneliese and their six year old son Pepik, along with Pepik’s governess, Marta, they live a quiet life in Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia. Their lives are changed forever with the arrival of Adolf Hitler and his government in 1939, the Bauer family, who are Jewish but chose not to practice their religion believe they will be safe because of this. Pavel is outraged by the fall of the Sudetenland and the fall of the government but he still believes his family will be safe but as the situation becomes more frightening and Pavel’s own views changing, he realises he must flee with this family while he still can but its too late for Pavel and Anneliese but not too late for their beloved Pepik, his parents and governess must be prepared to let him go on the Kindertransport, to go to Great Britain where he will be safe until he can return home.
What I thought of ‘Far to go’ ~
I was very lucky to be able to read ‘Far to Go’ before its release on the 12th May 2011 and I recommend it highly.
The story is told from the point of view of Marta, Pepik’s beloved governess, who stands by the Bauer family for different reasons but ultimately she stays because she loves the family. Marta’s point of view is full of emotion, there is sadness, happiness, strength and love, emotions that are shown so well that you are immersed in the story from the first page. Marta is a well written and realistic character, she is a young girl, who at times is confused and makes wrong decisions.
Pavel and Anneliese are also well written characters, their fear as people and parents are heartbreaking to read, their frustrations and sadness, what they are facing, what they sacrifice to ensure their son’s safety. Pepik is a lovely character, you can visualise a sweet, gentle little boy who does not understand the harshness of the world but quickly learns, which was sad to read because you want him to be happy.
The story interweaves between the past and the future, the aftermath of the Kindertransport and what it meant for so many children, some who were lucky enough to see their parents again and the children who did not see them again.
I enjoyed ‘Far to Go’, it was a powerful story and you can see the love and commitment that went into telling the story by Alison Pick, a story which is part of her own family history.