Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Two-Pound Tram: Mini-Review

The Two-Pound Tram (2003) by William Newton (aka Dr. Kenneth Newton) follows the lives of two brothers, Duncan and Wilfred Scrutton, during the early years of World War II. Originally, they live in a big sprawling house in the country and spend their time catching butterflies, hiding out in an old railway carriage, and using catapults to catch their dinner (rabbits, small birds, etc.). When their parents' marriage falls apart--their mother runs off and their father takes up with a succession of women, they decide to London with the bit of money they have saved up and buy their dream...a two-pound tram. Their story leads them through all sorts of adventures from buying the tram (and a horse to pull it and the horse's dog companion, Tiger) to joining up with a young woman who loves the idea of selling tickets on their tram to serving as emergency light signalers when the war descends on Britain to a decoration of valor for Duncan from the royal family. 

This is a marvelous, heartwarming little book that tells a coming of age story smack in the middle of the Second World War. Duncan and Wilfred go through rough times, but they manage to survive and thrive in the life they make for themselves. Duncan fulfills his dream of becoming a tram driver as well as being a hero and Wilfred is his loyal and supportive brother. It's a story of perseverance and loyalty and doing what you can on the home front during the war. It was a delight to read. I hate to give it such a short review--but, on the other hand, it's a short book and I don't want to give it all away.  ★★★★

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