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Twice-Caught

Twice-Caught - Syd McGinley What a great follow up to "Out of the Woods"!Any book told from the point of view of a protagonist who is not privy to all the facts but relies on his inherent common sense will create a skewed view of the world he inhabits. So it continues to be with Tarin.Underlying the continuing charming story about Twice Caught and Beak-Face, there is a depiction of a society where one sector is kept ignorant and kept in their place, even though they are cherished. If you translate "boys" to "women", this makes an interesting parallel with our own world (in different parts and at different times). Not that I'm suggesting that is the point of the story, but the problems that can occur when one sector is artificially kept down definitely resonate.Yes, the men are harsh, paternalistic and at times stupid but not intentionally so. Over time, the changes that are already happening - thanks to Tarin's catalytic arrival in their midst - will continue to improve the way they think and operate. You can see the officers beginning to see flaws in the way they operate already. So, unlike some reviewers, I don't "hate" the men. Most of their mistakes and faults stem from ignorance.But are they the oppressors? Or is it the Mothers who deliberately keep them in a state of borderline survival, forcing them to co-operate and find their own solutions?Bad-Egg Jadon was an over the top villain (again seen through the eyes of one very biased boy) so it will be interesting to see what sort of character will provide the conflict should there be a further book in the series.I see lots of potential for future adventures both for our hero and other characters, especially now Tarin has gypsy status. I, for one, would love to learn more about his world and how it came to be as devastated as it is. Anyway, I'm sure he'll have to find a cow, even if it's only so he can eat truly great pizza.While you read, take the time to unravel all the different references to our culture in the books, songs, nursery rhymes, stories, terms. That's half the fun.Once again, Syd has delivered with a book that satisfies on so many levels. A heart-warming love story, a fascinating world, an interesting look at the ways society operates along with so many distinct and interesting characters.The book is also a great example of what can be done with limited viewpoint. We don't have to be in every character's heads to work out what they're like. Not that Tarin tells us outright; once again, the clues are there in what he sees and hears, it's up to the reader, using a more experienced view of life to interpret the clues and detect the real nature of the character."Twice Caught" caught me. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down and when I finally did, my biggest reaction was relief and satisfaction that Syd hadn't let me down.(What is even better is that, unlike with "Out of the Woods", I didn't notice any typo's!)