One for Sorrow, Two for Joy by Clive Woodall

I expected a great deal from this book by Clive Woodall. The media hype proclaimed it as the next big thing in children’s literature and the announcement that Disney had bought the movie rights made me very excited to read it. But the book disappointed in so many levels.

The plot about a lone robin fighting to save the bird kingdom against cruel magpies is predictable. There is no thrill because you know exactly what will happen. There is no original concept and you get the sense that first-time writer Clive Woodall is just going through the motions. The worst offender is the ending. It was abrupt and badly executed.

If you want a satisfying novel about animals, read Richard Adams’ Watership Down or William Horwood’s Duncton Wood. Both books will make you feel you are part of a desperate community of rabbits or moles trying to save their homes. One for Sorrow, however, failed to even make me feel I was reading about birds.

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