Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Review - Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down by Irene Schram

(image from amazon)

Title: Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down
Author: Irene Schram 
Year: 1972
Page: 192
Genre: Dystopian

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

I couldn't find a description anywhere on the web. Basically a group of young students (who were 9? 10? I don't remember now) and their teacher got kidnapped.

First Sentence:
Our whole class of students was on the grass, in the park, for a picnic: it was April and time for a picnic after a long winter full of weeks and months of rain, boring rain.

My Thoughts:
  • It seemed like not many people had heard of this book. I heard about it from a forum - someone remembered reading a book about a bunch of children got kidnapped with their teacher. S/he did not remember the name of the book, but the story left a lasting impression. S/he found out someone else online had the same experience. After some searching, they found out the name of the book. I was able to track down a copy from another library in our network.
  • The story was written in a diary format, from several different people. The voices were strong, especially since the main protagonist was a young girl who enjoyed writing. You could sense the innocence. 
  • The book started out strongly, and was intriguing. It really made you want to find out what happened. Some commented that the plot was very violet and disturbing, especially given that the characters were young children. However, what made me give this book such a low rating was its ending, which I'd elaborate more in the next point, but it'd include spoiler.
  • [SPOILER]I found that the story didn't explain ANYTHING. It didn't explain why they were kidnapped, who kidnapped them, and the ending was very ambiguous, almost without an ending! So it was almost like an unfinished story. I agreed that the story line was memorable, but it was just frustrating, dissatisfying and disappointing when it read like an incomplete story. It was all about the journey, but without a cause, or a destination. Apart from the fact that PERSISTENCE was kept being brought up as a theme.[/SPOILER]


You cannot laugh just because someone tells you to, can you. (p38)

Overall Rating:

1 Stars. Had a lot of potential but fell short. Seemed unfinished.

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  1. That ending sounds very frustrating to me!

  2. @bermudaonion - It was! I was hoping the story would wrap up - I don't need everything tie up with a ribbon, but at least have some closure and a reason!