In this edition’s Army&You and Reading Force Book Club, our forces youngsters share their views on The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff…


The book was a little slow to start but when the pace picked up, I couldn’t put it down! It is based on a family who escape to their beach house every summer to leave behind the bustle of the city. This year is different though as two newcomers arrive – brothers Kit and Hugo, who are polar opposites. Kit is the charming, golden boy and Hugo is quiet and glowering. Both have an unforgettable impact on the family as something fragile breaks in a summer of fun and deception. What is clever about this story is that the narrator is never identified. This adds to the mystery but we can tell whoever it is can’t help but desire Kit. The blue skies and summer heat laden with undercurrents of anxiety and creeping claustrophobia cause Hugo to begin to slowly reveal himself, whilst almost everyone else finds themselves drawn to Kit like a moth to a flame. Although this is a love story, it is not all romance. I’d recommend it to young adults but older readers would like it as it messes with your mind a bit – very clever!


This book is very interesting and creative. I love the story and I’d love to find out the storyline behind it. It’s worded very well and you can tell a lot of effort has been put into it. It is an emotional rollercoaster, for example when the character of Hugo never wants to see his brother again. It is a good book to get your mind away from things. I enjoyed it and will be reading it again. I would definitely recommend it for age 15+.


Reading Force is the free shared reading initiative for forces families where you can share a book and talk about it, together at home or via video call if separated from your soldier. You’ll receive a free book and scrapbook to fill in with your thoughts, letters, drawings and photographs. It’s a fun way to keep connected. Take part via your children’s school, HIVE, or register online at

If your children would like to review books for the A &Y Book Club, email with their names and ages.

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