The Goose Road

By Rowena House

Young Quills reviews

The Goose RoadMala R-N’s review
I personally loved reading this book. It’s so thrilling and full of unexpected twists and turns, sad and happy. Some of the parts just make me feel like I’m Angélique, the girl in the book. This book really shows how much people suffered in the First World War. It also shows that you can’t trust in everyone and you can’t know all secrets without being upset.

Star rating ★★★★★

Harry’s review
In The Goose Road, my favourite character is Uncle Gustav because he’s so kind to Angelique and everyone else he meets. I don’t not like any of the characters, they’re all amazing! In this book, I learnt that the French army used to take the animals from French farmers for the food of the army. The book was set in WW1. This was an interesting time because it was a risk to go to Paris as it was so close to the Western Front. It also was what made the entire plot of the book. I found the plot to be serious, exciting, thought-provoking, and at times light-hearted. What stands out about the book to me is the way that Angelique goes from kind and caring person to another. I would definitely recommend this book to my peers.

Poppy’s review
This book is about a young girl’s journey across France in the First World War, accompanied by a flock of Toulouse geese. It’s a really interesting take on the First World War since the main character, Angelique, isn’t a soldier but a farmer. It explores the impact of the war on the ordinary person. I think the vocabulary and story is appropriate for my age group, however it’s quite a slow novel and that might put some people of my age off. The Goose Road was emotional, thought-provoking, and interesting. This story of love, loss, war, and geese is an amazing read and all lovers of historical fiction should read it.


Samira’s review
The Goose Road is now one of my favourite books. It is an outstanding and adventurous story through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl called Angelique Lacroix. The story is set in France during the First World War.

It explains of Angelique's belief that her brother, Pascal, will return from the trenches and look after the farm. She is determined to keep the farm and Toulouse geese which he loves safe for him until he returns. Sadly, when her fierce father dies at the front she finds out that his father had used the farm for drinking and gambling. She makes the careful decisions to raise enough money she will have to make a long and arduous journey accompanied by a flock of geese to sell to the highest bidder. She dresses as her brother Pascal and is accompanied with her magnificent geese and her Uncle Gustav on this perilous journey.

The character I found most interesting was probably Angelique Lacroix (the main character) because you can see different experiences and all the difficulties she had been through which she strived in doing.

I didn't really like the mother because even though he father died she just went in her own way and did not pay attention to Angelique.

I found out that the “Requisition” would just come into people's houses and take whatever they needed. This was because they thought that they deserved more than the peasants. I enjoy reading books like The Goose Road about children's experience through the war and different effects the war could have on wealth. I think that this novel can keep you guessing and is provoke.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the effect on people's lives. It is a marvellous book and I really loved it. I would rate this book 5 out of 5.

Aleysha’s review
My favourite character was Amandine because she is so funny, she is the cutest gosling, and was very sweet! But if it had to be a person it would be Rene Faubert because he was so sweet but also very determined at the same time.

I really didn’t like the character who was Angelique’s father. He sounded like a horrible man, who was too busy getting drunk and gambling than to think about his own children. But it wasn’t his fault he was like that, he grew up being beaten by his own father. He is one of those “like father like son” characters.

I learnt that there was a group of people called the “requisition”. They came and took farmers animals, the animals would be used to help in the war effort or they would be used as food for the soldiers.

This book appealed to me because I love learning about the wars but the main reason was because my great-great grandfather fought on the German side in both World Wars. (Yes, he was German!)

To me, the plot was exciting but at some times very upsetting. One of the most upsetting parts of the story was when Amandine had been killed because she was ill and they didn’t want her to suffer any more.

The thing that stood out the most to me was how Angelique (even though she was only 14 years old) was very determined to keep the farm running for her brother. Even when she lost her Uncle Gustav, she still kept going until she had enough money to save her brother’s farm.

I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers because I think they could learn a lot from this book. They could learn something about the past that they never knew before. The thing I think they would learn the most would be that even when things get tough, you have to keep going until you reach your goal!

Dan’s review
I found this book easy to read and engaging despite the fact that it poses many questions about death and the point of life. Overall, it was really enjoyable and rewarding but there are dull parts, especially in the first few chapters, however it becomes more compelling as it goes on.

The book’s main character, Angelique, is the most interesting by far, as well as being the driving force behind the plot. She struggles throughout with the death that surrounds her, enough to send soldiers mad, never mind children. She is forever traumatised by the possibility of losing her brother, Pascal. As well as this you learn early on of her father’s drink-fuelled abuse of her and Pascal.

I found that many of the characters were very similar in their hopeless inaction, Ma Malpas being the worst. I find this tiresome and I don’t think that it adds anything to the book.

The plot has a great sense of movement and journey. It is quite light but still asked many interesting questions. Overall, I would really recommend this to anyone as it is accessible but intellectual at the same time.

Lily’s review
I would rate The Goose Road by Rowena House 4.5 stars out of 5.

I thought that this book presented an interesting side of the Second World War. Instead of the fear of the violence, it focuses on the political views of different groups of people. Before reading this book I knew a fair amount about the Second World War, but it taught me about how hard the war was for lower-class people.

The plot was serious as it centred around a poor family's struggles to keep their farm and house running without the help of Angelique's father and brother who left to serve as soldiers. Angelique journeys across France to sell her brother's geese so that she can pay off her father's debts and save their farm.

I would recommend this book to other students as it has some very interesting information on the political side of the Second World War. The characters are easy to understand and the plot is interesting without being difficult to follow.

Clement’s review
Which of the characters did you find most interesting and why?
Angelique, her father, and all the antagonists. Angelique is relatable and grows significantly throughout the story with meaning. She starts off as being naïve and her childlike dedication to her brother not only serves as the motivation for the story, but creates irony for the backdrop in which countries fight each other without mercy and at the expense of its people just to meet one’s own interests, when a small girl with a heart of gold could just do the same for herself but with empathy and understanding. The characters all represent different aspects of the war. Angelique’s father represents victims of war, being damaged by alcoholism after the horrors of war and had an impact on Angelique herself; her mother presents victims who lost their loved ones. Not only having lost the kind, loving version of her husband, she would potentially lose her farm animals, her son, and her daughter; Angelique’s boyfriend who joins the army despite the danger represent honour and patriotism, but questions the point of fighting when all that happens was destruction. Antagonists are all shredded in grey, and are relatable as much as the protagonists. Often plagued by poverty same as the protagonists, and emphasizes the conflict of interests and the damage of war on all people. With such a great range of nuanced and relatable characters, the historical time period of WWI is explored to its deepest and brilliantly well represented.

Which of the characters (if any) were not attractive – why?
Did you learn anything new about the past from the book?
No. I only knew about the book from the selected book list.

What made the history or the time it was set in interesting to you?
The conflict of war and its toll on civilians.

Is this a period of history you knew much about beforehand?
I had the most idea about the political history but not that much insight of the civilian perspective.

Was the plot exciting, thought-provoking, serious, or light-hearted (or any combination of these)? Did this make a difference to whether or not the book was interesting/enjoyable to read?
Along with the nuanced characters well representing aspects of war, the plot does nothing to disappoint but only brings more to the fray. It brings challenges to Angelique that are still in line with the themes and further explores the rambling effects of warfare. It also pushes Angelique to grow and allowing her goodhearted nature to shine, making the point on the importance of empathy and belief in a time of darkness. The ending felt unsatisfying revealing only Rene’s fate but not her brother’s, given the latter was the motivation for Angelique’s actions at the start, and surely his survival would prove the faith and kindness despite being in a time of darkness to be worthwhile. Alternatively, ambiguity of her brother’s status can be used to emphasize the theme of belief which is central to Angelique’s actions, but that has to be done without revealing Rene’s state as well to keep hopes up to a maximum. Nevertheless, this felt like a minor issue and was easily offset by the rich development and characterisations beforehand.

Has the book inspired you or made you want to know more about anything?
Yes, thanks to its in-depth investigation of the effects of war. It has inspired me to approach and understand history from more angles.

Would you recommend it to other students - why?
For sure, as the book crafts a brilliant tale closely interlocked with history and explores the nature of war fully in an engaging, outstanding, and memorable way.

Tamar’s review
The character that stood out the most was Angelique’s mother; she was always very emotional, either very happy or very sad, but she never gave up. She always tried to do the best thing for her daughter, her son, and their farm.

I didn’t like Madame Villeneuve from the gas factory because she was mean and rude to Angelique when she could tell that everything that she was doing was being done to save her family.

I did learn several things from the book. I learnt about the Requisition that worked in France. I learnt how they would take animals and food away from any farm house that they came across so that they could feed the men on the front line.

I find learning about the wars and recent history really interesting as I feel that it is really relatable, and that the experiences that people faced then are ones that people still can face today in some parts of the world. I find it really interesting (and sad) finding out about the innocent people that often suffered in wars as well.

The plot was very thought-provoking. It was very serious because it is likely to have happened in similar circumstances during the actual was and this makes it devastating that people actually had to go through these horrible situations.

The part of the story that most stood out for me was the fact that a child of 14 years old (the same age that I am) would go the incredible extra mile to save their family and farm after the loss of their father AND return home alive and alright.

I would definitely recommend this book to other students. They could find out more about what life was like for people in France during the war. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes an adventure story.

Olivia’s review
I really liked Angélique because she is really strong-willed and never gives up. She keeps care of her mum and her brother’s farm. She travels with her uncle Gustavo to sell their geese in order for the farm to be perfect for Pascal. She meets many characters (good and bad) and she keeps fighting her own wars, from others. It really upset me when the chevaliers’ tried to steal from Angélique because she was good and only wanted the best for her brother.

Poppy’s review
When I first started to read this book, I did not really enjoy it. However, as I read on I got to know the characters and it got more interesting. Angelique and her uncle’s journey took so many turns, for the better and the worse. When the uncle passed away, I got a bit sad because I felt like I had known him throughout the whole book. I did not think I would like a book about World War One but I really enjoyed it.

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