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Publisher's Summary

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson's Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn't waste a minute - she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan - and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity - a classic in the making.

©2014 Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (P)2014 Listening Library

What the critics say

"With her skillful presentation of true-to-life characters, Entwistle's narration is totally compelling." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The War That Saved My Life

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Loved it!

The narrator's performance really enhanced what is already a brilliant novel. It can sound so awkward or cheesy to hear a single reader try subtly different English accents but she nails every character.
I love this book.
I hesitated at first, thinking it sounded so bleak that reading/listening to it would be a complete drag.
Couldn't have been more wrong. It was ultimately an uplifting experience, despite the cruelty Ada has experienced.

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  • halfdozeninWA
  • 2018-03-28

Why hasn't anyone mentioned the LGBT reference!?!

Any additional comments?

I purchased this audiobook to listen to with my 4 children. It has loads of wonderful reviews. What NO ONE mentions is the LESBIAN relationship Susan was in that left her estranged from her family. No one talks about this in their reviews. I felt deceived and frustrated by this GLARING omission.
Susan's partner, Becky, has passed on and left to her the home they shared and her prize horses. Becky was well off and now Susan lives in modest comfort. This is the home that Ada and Jaimie find themselves living in when evacuated from London during WW2. In the background of this story you catch on to the fact that something isn't quite normal with Susan. Susan's family has disowned her, especially her father, and no one talks about it. She is struggling with depression because of her partner passing and isolation because of her lifestyle choices.
I loath the current trend in children's books and media that is so focused on secretly and stealthily working to normalize and indoctrinate children with the LGBTQ lifestyle and everyone's outrage when a parent wants to be informed when these topics are going to be presented, regardless of how subtly!!! This book is just one more method being used to subtly normalize the lifestyle.
What infuriates me is the deceptive method being used. If you're going to present these topics then you had better own it!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sara
  • 2017-02-07

A Powerful Wonder

This book is listed in the "Kids" section for 8-10 year olds but I think that scope is too narrow. I read a wonderful review about it in the newspaper and several other excellent reviews here on Audible so I gave it a try. If anything the concepts presented might be a bit too much for younger children to understand and cope with. To me, the story and writing transcend age and the book really belongs in the general historic fiction genre.

Entwistle's narration was absolute perfection. I think her experience as an actor really shows in the way she was able to voice each character. This was an impressive performance and the first time I've heard her narrate. I hope she does more reading here on Audible.

Bradley's writing was excellent and so powerful in the way she showed each character coping with limitations and difficulties and growing in strength to reach beyond their circumstance. The villains were truly harrowing and the depiction of life in World War II Britain was multidimensional and completely riveting. I loved this book and recommend it whole heartedly to historic fiction lovers no matter your age. A perfect blend of narration and writing. Not to be missed.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Jill
  • 2015-06-08

Among the VERY best!

This story and the performance by Jayne Entwistle make me feel a little badly about all the other books I've given five stars. This one deserves every little point on every single star!

8 people found this helpful

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  • M. Ryder
  • 2017-05-24

Pretty Good, But Expected More

Sad to say that based on all the glowing reviews, I was really hoping for so much more, including greater character development and depth to the story. Also, despite most listeners maintaining that the book appeals to both young and adult audiences, I truly felt as though the story was written to attract those from approximately ages 8-15.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 2015-05-18

Just Wonderful !

Loved this sweet, heartbreaking story ! Although catagorized as a children's book, it isn't juvenile at all. Suitable for anyone who loves a story told from a child's perspective. Superlative narration.

15 people found this helpful

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  • THoward
  • 2016-12-25

I didn't want it to end!

Spoiler Alert!

The story was very enjoyable and I wanted more. Then ending wrapped up too quickly and left much hanging. I wanted to know what happens to Ada and her foot, I wanted to know how Susan has grown, I wanted more.

A good listen and a great performance. I will listen again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shanna
  • 2016-10-22

The Anne of Green Gables for World War II

This book is astonishing beyond measure. It reminds me of the above title. It moves and shines. A mix between Anne of Green Gables and Matilda, Ada is sure to be a beloved character for years to come. Thank you, Ms. Bradley, for sharing her with me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jacquie Bonadonna
  • 2016-05-06

So....... AMAZING!

Jayne Entwistle had so much emotion and I just felt so sorry for Ada and it was a wonderful heartwarming and touching story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tilda Dragonmor
  • 2016-02-11

Bravo!

Loved every moment of this story! Left me wishing for more. Hoping for a sequel!

5 people found this helpful

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  • C. Beaton
  • 2015-09-06

I never wanted it to end

I don't usually read much fiction, but do enjoy a great story with an excellent narrator. I would give this audiobook 10 stars if I could. The story is both warm and heartbreaking and the narrator is perfect. I just finished it and am close to tears because I enjoyed it so much and never wanted it to end.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-18

Story & voice

Great story, loved the narrator's voice and different characters. Heart warming inner dialogs and children's journey to freedom.