The Foreshadowing

Written by Marcus Sedgwick
Review by Charlotte Kemp

The Foreshadowing tells the story of seventeen-year-old Sasha Fox in England. It is 1915 and men from all over the country are being sent to fight across the English Channel. Even though they lead a privileged life, Sasha’s brothers, Edgar and Tom, cannot escape the war. However, they have different attitudes to the conflict, and whereas Edgar is keen to fight for his country, Tom is much more reluctant and chooses to go to Manchester to study medicine, with his father hoping he will join the Medical Corps. However, when his brother is killed, Tom changes his mind and joins the army as an officer. Sasha, meanwhile, is reluctantly allowed by her father to start work as a VAD nurse at the hospital where he works.

                This may sound like a mundane novel about the First World War, but there is a haunting twist in the tale –Sasha can see the future. She sees the deaths of those in her hospital, and most distressing is that of her brother Edgar. It is when she has a vision of the death of her other brother in France that she steals another nurse’s identity, and travels to France to see him and tell him of this terrible vision. She nurses injured men from the front line each day, but never sees any man from her brother’s regiment. Then she introduced to Hoodoo Jack, who experiences these visions as well. Her true identity is eventually discovered, and Sasha is imprisoned. With her hopes fading fast that she will see her brother alive again; will she escape from prison and find Tom?

                I found The Foreshadowing more gripping as the book progressed, and it kept me guessing until the end. However, I did find that it ended rather abruptly, which I did find slightly disappointing. I would recommend it to 12-16 year olds.