In 1943, seventeen-year-old German soldier Erich is captured and interned in an Australian prisoner-of-war camp. He must now learn to coexist with his sworn enemy.
Moving seamlessly between past and present, Vinnie and Erich's stories gradually intertwine, as each fights internal battles of belief and upbringing. And slowly, as they struggle to escape their painful memories, each tentatively reaches out towards a more hopeful future.
This book is a masterpiece. Winner of the 2005 West Australian Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and a Children's Book Council of Australia Honour Book, it has now been reissued for a new wave of readers to discover. The writing is powerful, haunting, movingly evocative. The characters are richly detailed and compelling. And the story — inspired by the author's discovery of the remains of an abandoned World War II prisoner-of-war camp while on a camping trip in the West Australian bush — is still sharply relevant given Australia's current concerns with multiculturalism, migration policies and the treatment of asylum seekers.
I devoured Fireshadow in one sitting and cannot recommend it highly enough. It achieved what the best books always do: immersed me in another world and left me all the richer for the experience.
Author: Anthony Eaton
Publisher: UQP, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: July 2013
For ages: 15+
Type: Young Adult Fiction