Goodnight Mister Tom: A book review
Michelle Magorian’s novel Goodnight Mister Tom is a moving tale of an eight-year-old boy, William Beech who is evacuated from London’s Deptford area to go and live in a village called Little Weirwold shortly before the Second World War breaks out. With an abusive history, a weak, pale William arrives in Little Weirwold and is placed under the care of Tom Oakley, a healthy, middle-aged man famous in his close-knit village for being a recluse, just because he lives next to the local church in accordance to the specific instructions of William’s mother. Tom reluctantly agrees to take him in, in the name of ‘national duty’, neither of them considering how this small act of ‘national duty’ was going to change their lives forever. And thus began a journey of recovery and rediscovery for the two of them. This journey makes up the crux of the novel. His overbearing, extremely religious mother conditioned him that he was inherently bad and thus deserved to be punished.