Tug of War

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Author: Joan Lingard

Age Range: Young Teens+

Period: Mid 20th C

Genres:  HistoricalWar


The Petersen family, fleeing wartime Latvia with the Jansons, are separated at Gdynia; 14-year-old Hugo is left behind when his glasses smash in the crowded railway station. He is injured and ends up being taken care of by a signalman's family, with whose daughter he falls in love as the war progresses. He believes his family to have died in Leipzig, while they who go from one refugee camp to another believe him to be trapped behind the Iron Curtain. They meet just as the Petersens have found work in America and Hugo is torn between going with them and staying with his betrothed.


As disturbing a book as most on the fate of Eastern Europeans caught between the Germans and the Russians. Account is given of the privations suffered but without unnecessary detail, and the kindness of the Schneder family who take Hugo in is quite moving.

Tuesday 1st January 2002