Review of Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian Goodnight Mr. Tom is set in the midst of World War II and the German attacks of London. In the novel many children are sent away from England? s capital onto pacific places for protection. These children are called refugees and they are to stay in the houses of the inhabitants. This is then, the destiny of little William Beech who is sent to Little Wierwold to Tom Oakley, the man who shelters him. The child was being abused by his mother so he is very shy. Therefore, Mr. Oakley helps him confront his problems and Willie drastically changes.
He starts to make friends like Zacharias Wrench, or Zach for short. They become best friends and have marvelous moments together. Afterwards, Williams’s mother asks for him to go back to London as she is sick. Beech? s mother really is insane and when they enter the house she says she has a surprise. The surprise was that Mrs. Beech has had a baby. He actually returns to the nightmare he lived before being a refugee, so Mr. Oakley foresees that Willie is passing a terrible time and rescues him from the tiny room in which Mrs.
Beech has locked him up. Mr. Tom immediately buys train tickets for Little Wierwold and so, they returned to their home in this little town. Months later, Mrs. Beech commits suicide as a result of her loneliness and Mr. Tom caringly adopts William. The story ends when William? s best friend Zach dies because of a bomb. Will then confronts his friend? s death having both good and bad experiences, which helps him grow physically and mentally. The main characters of this novel are William Beech, Tom Oakley, Zacharias Wrench and Mrs. Beech.
William Beech, at the beginning of the story is an apprehensive, emaciated boy who does not have any self-confidence and is very mistrusting. Although he is very different on the inside, Will founds this throughout the book. When Willie starts his life with Mr. Tom, he changes abruptly and transforms into a talkative and active little boy. He also discovers he is an excellent artist and makes drawing his favorite hobby. What I really appreciate about this character is that he emerged from being a shy child to a talkative one who loves socializing with others around him.
Tom Oakley is also a very important character in this novel. Mr. Tom is at first a grouchy old man who is immerged in the four walls of his house but when Willie arrives to his life he transforms into a social, caring and loving man who supports Will in everything he needs. Tom was very depressed because his wife had died giving birth and soon after his son, William, also died. At first Mr. Oakley took this as a coincidence, assuming William was a common name in London. Although as the months went by he realizes it this is not just a coincidence but something much deeper.
Fate had brought them together so that both Tom and Willie could cure the injuries and pains they had been absorbing and keeping inside themselves. Another very important and special character is Zacharias Wrench “Zack for short” as he says in the novel. This character is a boy about the same age as Willie, who is a very swinging boy who likes talking to everybody. As soon he sees someone nice he immediately approaches to the person and starts talking to it as if he knows it for a long time. Zach becomes Willie? s best friend and because of him William lets “escape the Zach from him”. Goodnight Mr.
Tom is definitely an incredible story. I enjoyed it so much that I have read it two times. My favorite moment on the novel is the end because Willie has improved amazingly and says to Mr. Tom who is now his dad: “Dad, I? ve grown”. I find this particular moment very emotive because despite all the challenges he has faced, he moves on with an amazing courage. I can definitively recommend this book to both adults and children (11 years +) as it makes you reflect a lot and it’s a very deep novel. I would also love to read another book by Michelle Magorian because she is a very good writer.