Elephant Moon by John Sweeney
I usually ask those around me for any book recommendations, or do some research online as to which one I should pursue next. However I finished Daughter late a couple of evenings ago and needed a read for the daily commute in the morning. So, I saw the cover of Elephant moon, and judged that I would enjoy this animal inspired story. From the get go, the very first sentence, I was captivated, I fell down the history rabbit hole into the middle of the Burmese town of Rangoon in 1941.
Based loosely on a true account of an Elephant regiment of 53 beasts, rescuing a school mistress and her band of merry orphans from the terrors of the Japanese invasion during the second world war. Altogether, men, elephants, children and one woman trekked through the Jungle up to the safety of India, witnessing unimaginable horrors as well as beautiful animal relationships and experiencing love and loss. A truly remarkable tale that had my mind racing back to the great war as well as having me in tears on the tube,
Since finishing it earlier today I have done a little background reading on the book and have come across some great reviews, but I have also read some which are very negative. I understand and recognise the flaws frequently mentioned, such as weak characters and a loose writing style, and I certainly didn’t miss the pathetic love references. This book is certainly not written with the same kind of depth you experience from the likes of the more seasoned author, but in my opinion the story outshines anything Sweeney could have written.
I don’t think that you should rush out and read Elephant Moon, but I do feel that if you don’t read it at some point you will be missing out on something special.