When Matilda is 13, revolution strikes the island where she lives.
After the school was forced to close, Mr. Watts, the only white person left on the island, re-opens the school, though he has no experience teaching.When he begins to read from Great Expectations, Matilda becomes enthralled with the story of Pip.
As the war progresses, the village, which had remained largely unaffected, is visited in turn by both the rebels and the soldiers. When questioning by the soldiers leads to a misunderstanding directly related to the reading of Great Expectations, tragedy results.
I loved this book, which drew me in from the beginning. I loved the character of Mr. Watts, who, at first was saintly - almost too good to be true. The author did an excllent job of showing him to be less than perfect later in the story, creating a much more well-rounded character.
I've heard a lot of complaints about the ending, but I think it fits beautifully with the transformative theme of Great Expectations. The only weakness I saw was with the character of Matilda's father, as pointed out to me in a discussion with a friend. It felt as though the author, having created the character, didn't know what to do with him. Otherwise, the book and the ending were excellent!