“The P-38 WWII Nazi handgun looks comical lying on the breakfast table next to a bowl of oatmeal. It’s like some weird steampunk utensil anachronism. But if you look very closely just above the handle you can see the tiny stamped swastika and the eagle perched on top, which is real as hell.
Leonard Peacock has reached his eighteenth birthday and now he knows exactly what he will do, he will say goodbye.
Not to his mother who will probably not notice he’s not around for a few days or weeks Not to his father who he hasn’t seen in years. Not to his former best friend who has been making his life a living hell. He will say goodbye to the four people who mean anything to him, his Humphrey Bogart obsessed next door neighbour Walt, the violin virtuoso Baback, the pastors daughter Lauren and most of all his Holocaust teacher Herr Silverman. He wants to thank them for making him last as long as he has, for giving him something to think about and for being there for him, whether they know it or not, and most of all he wants to say a real goodbye.
Leonard Peacock was not exactly what I was expecting. I really thought that there was something about Leonard like a terminal illness or something and chose to ignore the clues in the blurb about suicide and when I read the first few pages I was shocked at what I read. I wasn’t even sure I could read the book, but then I realised that I had to carry on reading, I had to know what would become of Leonard Peacock.
Leonard Peacock is special, he is so special that you can’t really believe it at first, he is insanely clever, but that cleverness is just buried underneath so much sadness. At first you don’t know what has caused that sadness but as the book goes on you come to understand that its a multitude of things, things out of Leonard’s control, that have grown and made Leonard’s world explode.
The story is beautiful and terrifying at the same time, its incredible the way you get to feel for Leonard and just how much you want things to be ok for him. The people who he thinks are his friends are the saddest thing because in all honesty only two of them are anywhere near even close. I think the most important message of the book is this in a way because these two people are full of knowledge, they have the years behind them and can understand that high school and teenage years are not everything. Herr Silverman is the one who really understands Leonard the most because of what he went through, but even he cannot fully understand. Leonard has to make it on his own, he has to learn who he is in his own time.
There are serious issues at hand throughout the whole of this book. The topics are not to be taken lightly and honestly there are things that could unsettle some readers, particularly younger readers. However the compassion you feel for Leonard really makes you need to carry on reading, you can tell that a lot of the things in his life have taken their toll on him and he need help. I thought the ending was perfect and in all honesty I couldn’t see the book ending in any other way, it had to finish there.
I honestly can’t say anything else without giving everything in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. I want to go on and on about everything I loved yet how conflicted I was when reading this book, it has to be read to completely understand and I really hope that a lot of the people reading this review will go on to read the book.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock will be published on August 15th by Headline. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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