Home > Humorous Stories, Intermediate Fiction, Senior Fiction > The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

The Death Defying pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean. Pub. Oxford University Press, 2009.

This latest book from Geraldine McCaughrean is her most bizarre to date. Set in France it has a different feel about it than most novels.

Pepper Roux has been brought up in a strict Catholic household which in his own mind has completely ruined his childhood, and I agree with him. It is not a criticism of the religion just a strong dig at fanaticism and literal interpretation.

At his birth his devout and twisted Aunt Mireille told his family that she had a dream about Saint Constance who told her that Pepper would not live longer than his 14th birthday.

What a burden to put on anybody.

Poor Pepper spent much of his childhood on his calloused knees but still he grew up with a big heart and a sense of fairness and feelings for his fellow man, that is seen in so few.

When he reaches his fourteenth birthday and the big deed has not happened he takes off on an adventure that is exciting, uplifting and completely bizarre. Death defying you might say.

Will he die as predicted?

His first adventure is as captain of a ship that was once his fathers ship, and this leads to other adventures that are incredible. Almost a shaggy dog story. The plot is so superb that every  incident and character is related to what has happened before much like the plot of Holes by Louis Sachar

McCaughrean’s writing style gives life to the story and the novel is structured into  short paragraphs within a chapter that means the reader can pick it up and put it down after a short burst. But you will not do that I assure you.

You are with Pepper all the way as he is on the run, changing his identity at will, trying to do the right thing  but at the same time having complete faith in his fellow man in spite of the harrowing things that happen.  A modern day youthful Don Quixote.

The ending is brilliant. This book is for everybody. Don’t miss it.

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