That Year at Manikoil
Author: Aditi Krishnakumar
Publisher: Duckbill Books
War has never begotten peace nor love for that matter. It has kindled hope in all hearts because that’s what helps see the light at the end of the dark tunnel yet the lingering fear of watching everything and everyone crumble into dust often jerks you out from a far-fetched dream. Songs of Freedom is a series of books that tell stories of children during war times. These stories are overwhelming and inspiring at the same time. That Year at Manikoil is one such story that explores the pathos of a young girl who fears the consequences of war because her beloved brother is there at the forefront, ready to save the motherland at the cost of his own life.
When Raji and her family are forced to move to her grandfather’s house in Manikoil in the garb of moving to a safer place, all she can do is wait for things to return to normal so that her family can reunite in Madras. But war is unpredictable- it can teach someone to hope or it can uproot their belief in happy things! Fortunately, Raji is a hopeful person. She views situations pragmatically and makes decisions based on her instinct. Through her thoughts poured into the letters that she writes to her brother, we get a glimpse of her personality, her eagerness to pursue music and her fears regarding society.
With emotive language and strong use of imagery, the author does a wonderful job of expressing the feelings of a 9-year-old. Songs of Freedom has been one of the most delightful series so far because of the beautiful and Hence, it is highly recommended.
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