I felt curiously distant towards this book most of the time. It felt like it was trying to hard to earn my affections, and make me care about the characters without really earning it. The issues surrounding child abuse are well done, and the characters themselves are entertaining, but somehow the two never really meshed for me.
The plot also felt meandering, no real drive to where it was going or how it was going to get there. I like that sort of book sometimes, so whether I just wasn't in the mood or this book truly has too little plot for its pages is up in the air.
But Mister Tom himself is a great character, and some of the children, and at times, it's a charming picture of country life during the Blitz.
But for me, something was missing. And I can't quite put my finger on what it was.