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Book giveaway this week: Mouse and the Cossack by Paul Wilson

(34 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 30-May-13 13:14:15

If you fancy getting your hands on an early copy of Paul Wison's latest, Mouse and the Cossack, apply for one of 50 free copies.

A beautiful, heartbreaking mystery about Mouse, a young girl who has lost her voice. When she moves with her mother to a deserted farmhouse, she becomes intrigued by the traces of the previous inhabitant?s life there and uncovers his secret wartime past ? Paul Wilson is a winner of the Portico Prize for Literature for Do White Whales Sing at the Edge of the World? All those who are allocated copies will be notified next week and once again, please do post your feedback (or ask your Dcs to feedback) on this thread.

jamaisjedors Mon 07-Oct-13 21:28:50

Finally posting my review.

I did enjoy the book, read it without any difficulty, but agree with everyone else (and my original comment) that I'm not sure who it is marketed at?

I felt it wasn't quite an "adult" book - not enough depth in the characters or insight into the parents' difficulties, more on Mouse's point of view, but then it wasn't a children's book either.

As a teen I might well have enjoyed it I think, but I was quite an odd teen so not sure if modern teenagers would enjoy it.

Lovely cover yes, and an interesting read anyway. Thanks for the free copy!

MrsJohnDeere Tue 23-Jul-13 15:24:21

Forgot to add my comments to this. Finished it a few weeks ago. blush

Started off really well, and I thought it was going to be great, but it really tailed off. If I hadn't 'had' to read it I would have given up.

I found the William/history chapters quite dull and skimmed those blush

I would disagree that this was a children's book.

I had read the author's previous book (Do White Whales Sing...) and much preferred that one. Sorry.

Loved the cover <shallow>

Mouse1234 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:34:28

Hi, I really enjoyed the story, although I did find it a bit slow at the beginning. I loved how all the threads came together at the end and suddenly everything made sense. The historical information about the Cossacks was very interesting and added another element to the story. I would agree with the other reviewers in that I don't think it is a children's book, definitely for young adults. In summary, a good read, which I would recommend.

katb1973 Sun 07-Jul-13 00:03:07

I received a copy of this, thanks Mumsnet, but it's taken me a while to pick it up. I don't know if it was the cover or the ambiguity of the target audience that made me take so long to getting around to reading it. Found it an interesting read and liked the way the author used the main character's voice. It wasn't particularly detailed in historical information which would lean me towards recommending this for pre teens, however, I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Not a gripping read, in my opinion, but worthy of the effort.

lottietiger Thu 04-Jul-13 21:44:36

I am being a slow reader too DS picture books taking up my time smile I'm enjoying the book and finding it intriguing and although it's written by a child it doesn't seem like a Childs book. I have not got to the end yet though and will post again when I do

UniS Wed 03-Jul-13 23:45:35

Well I read it. This book didn't jump off the shelf and order me to read it, so it sat there for a while, and I read other books that seemed more appealing. Eventually I thought I best get on and read it. By page 90 I was ready to give up, If It wasn't for needing to come back here and review it I would have given up. I didn't "care" what happened to any of the characters enough to want to find out.
So I carried on, and the pace picked up a little but not so much that I fell in love with it. Its a story where very little, happens very slowly. One gets glimpses of characters but they are not fleshed out fully.

I'd say Mouse and the cossacks is a young adults book, aimed at teen+ girls.

lambfam Tue 02-Jul-13 22:25:01

I really enjoyed this story though was a bit confused at first. I liked the different threads running through the story and the different voices. I do not agree that this is a children's book. The themes are quite adult and I would say that it would only be suitable for an older teen/young adult, though I am not sure that the content would interest them. I was very interested in the Cossack story which I knew nothing about before.
Overall I liked the style of writing and found it quite an easy read. I read short sections at a time (due to time restraints) but would have preferred to have sat down and read more at a time as I feel it would have flowed better.
Overall a good read and I would like to try more by this author

BigGapMum Mon 01-Jul-13 20:39:10

I was another reader who was puzzled about the age of the intended reader. The text I thought suited a teenager, but I don't think that the subject matter would appeal to them.

When I started reading this book it did not really hold my attention and a couple of times I nearly gave up reading it, which is something that I hardly ever do. However I persevered and went on to moderately enjoy the book.

The later sections of the book, covering the fact-based atrocities committed against the Cossacks post-war were thought provoking and have inspired me to look further into this period in history.

maryburrows Fri 28-Jun-13 17:03:03

Definitely a crossover - teenage/adult book. If you have read "The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon- it is asimilar book- designed to help understanding of people who can not speak and the reasons for it and the problems they experience.(That one was about autism).It is a thoughtful and deep book about our need for forgiveness and our need to forgive ourselves and others- as we all do things we shouldn't and the problems caused if we don't. The one flaw from my point of view is that Mouse definitely isn't a credible eleven year old- make her more realistically at least 15yrs- it would require a thoughtful older teenager and experienced reader to appreciate this book (or an adult).

MissStrawberry Tue 25-Jun-13 20:26:22

I did enjoy William's chapters.

MissStrawberry Tue 25-Jun-13 20:25:52

I finished this today as I was sat at the garage for 2 hours and this is my further comment.

I found it took a while to get into it and tbh if I wasn't reading it to review on here I could have quite possibly given up. I found it confusing having different people telling the story and for the last few chapters I only read Mouse's chapters.

I did want to finish it in the end to see what happened to Mouse and to be honest just 8 hours later I have forgotten most of the ending.

I liked Mouse. I forgot she was only eleven.

I would like guidance as to the minimum age for a child to read.

tinypumpkin Sun 23-Jun-13 23:41:28

Another one who is slow to read due to small children and work demands on my time. I am making progress though and I am enjoying the book so far. It is thought provoking and do agree that it is an adult rather than teenage book. Quite hard going and sad in places but that is an observation rather than a criticism.

Definitely something I would have chosen myself and I will look out for more from this author in the future. Off to read some more....

Ps - I also love the cover :D

firawla Fri 21-Jun-13 09:59:02

I haven't had a chance to finish the whole book yet (slow reader at times the dcs dont give me a chance to read!!) but so far i am enjoying it. having a non verbal child myself its interesting to have a non verbal character here. I think it was advertised as a teenage or young adult book but I am finding it no different than any adult books, it is longer than I was expecting actually. It's written in a pretty easy to follow way not massively over complicated but it is like an adult book

cookiemonster66 Thu 20-Jun-13 15:52:04

Thanks for the book! I also found the flaps of the cover handy for book marks but found it quite hard to open the book, the spine was very hard, got arm ache trying to keep it open! or maybe i am a weakling! LOL!

Anyway back to the book - it was a 'nice' story about a little girl called mouse who did not talk, who looked after her mum after a family tragedy. They moved into a house previously lived in by William who was involved in the war and mouse decided to immerse herself into his world as a way of escaping her own life. All the way through I was waiting for something to happen, and by mid book I was finding it a bit of chore to motivate to keep myself interested. It also jumped around alot. Dont get me wrong it is a 'nice' story and beautifully written and composed but it didnt grab me or keep my interest but I pushed myself to finish it in case it finally got to the point, which it did finally have some closure and explanation at the end then ended suddenly. Sorry not really my cuppa tea! brew

weathermum Wed 19-Jun-13 10:07:19

I have just finished reading this book...many thanks for the free copy
I was impressed by the product cover it was embosssed and part of it could be used as a book mark which was handy, I find this adds to my delight and enjoyment in reading.
The story I felt was cleverly written but the factual parts were so very sad it contained facts I was unaware of and found hard to believe but I am sure are really true. Very thought provoking.

Pozzled Tue 18-Jun-13 22:13:42

Posting to say thank you for the book. I haven't had a great deal of time to read it yet, but I'm a few chapters in and really enjoying it. l love the character of Mouse, and the way the author draws you in- so many unanswered questions. I'm really looking forward to reading on.

SunshinePanda Tue 18-Jun-13 18:56:20

Both teenage DD and I enjoyed this book. It was well written and thought provoking although the ending seemed abrupt. I would look out for other books from the author as a result of reading this book. Thank you.

Cambam2010 Mon 17-Jun-13 12:10:51

I have only just started reading this. I would not say that it was aimed at children. One of the main characters is writing as a child but the content is perhaps aimed at a mature teen and adults.

From what I have read so far, it appears to be a heart warming story combining different generations.

I too must comment on the cover. The flaps do indeed make great book marks!

carrots14 Fri 14-Jun-13 09:43:42

Thank you so much for my copy of Mouse and the Cossacks by Paul Wilson. It is a heart touching story twisting the lives of two individuals who both suffered trauma through no fault of their own. Mouse can no longer speak and wishes to hide away from the world. William is wracked with guilt. I didn't want to put the book down until the answers were solved. I must mention the book cover too, the jacket has delightful flaps which I used as bookmarks and the embossed cover was lovely and tactile.

halcyondays Thu 13-Jun-13 22:05:56

Thanks, I've received my book. Must admit, I thought this was a book for young children when I applied for it, just from the title. I don't have qny teenagers.Will happily read it myself though.

MissStrawberry Thu 13-Jun-13 21:30:49

When do we have to post the review by? I haven't had time to read for the last few days and realistically it will be Wednesday before I get time again.

So far, an interesting book, little bit confused at the moment but think I will enjoy it immensely once I actually get to read more of it.

tinypumpkin Thu 13-Jun-13 21:18:38

I have to say that I really don't think this is a child's book. It is about grief and guilt I think. Perfect, both have dominated my life for the past three and a half years, Food for thought. Thank you MN for the book smile

lottietiger Wed 12-Jun-13 19:02:49

Just received this book to review smile it sounds good so ill be back to review as soon as i have read... from the cover and the write up though it doesnt seem like a childrens book...

jamaisjedors Mon 10-Jun-13 21:16:38

Just read the blurb again on the giveaway and it definitely doesn't say it's a children's book, in fact the quote which made me apply for a copy was:

"Could this be a Lancashire Garcia Márquez with a warm, sing-song accent?' Literary Review "

I feel a bit bad now that I have got a free book under false pretences but I honestly thought from the webpage that it was an adult fiction book.

Now I come to think of it, I have applied for other book giveaways before and not been sure of the age range.

jamaisjedors Mon 10-Jun-13 21:13:32

Oh, it wasn't very clear on the giveaway otherwise I would never have signed up for it - I don't have a teenage DC!

But I will read it as an English teacher and give you my professional opinion I suppose...

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