Read The Seeing by Diana Hendry Online

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The second world war is over in the quiet town of Norton. When wild, dangerous, break-all-the-rules Natalie arrives, thirteen-year-old Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the new girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Desperate for Natalie’s friendship and respect, Lizzie soon discovers a side of the town – and of herself – that she had never imagined.As the girls grow closerThe second world war is over in the quiet town of Norton. When wild, dangerous, break-all-the-rules Natalie arrives, thirteen-year-old Lizzie is drawn irresistibly to the new girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Desperate for Natalie’s friendship and respect, Lizzie soon discovers a side of the town – and of herself – that she had never imagined.As the girls grow closer, Natalie and her strange, eerie brother, Philip, reveal a shocking secret. For Philip has a second sight, and all around them he sees evil - ‘left-over Nazis’ lying in wait until the time is right for revenge. Natalie and Philip believe it’s up to them to root these people out of Norton.Lizzie is swept up in what starts as a thrilling game - but the consequences of Philip’s ‘gift’ quickly spiral into disaster.A chilling, powerful tale from Whitbread Award-winner Diana Hendry....

Title : The Seeing
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780552565691
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Seeing Reviews

  • Maya Panika
    2019-01-03 01:33

    Was the horror of the concentration camps in the very air they breathed?... It's as if the memory of war has wounded them. Hurt their hearts, their minds. Their spirits.'Short and far from sweet, 'The Seeing' is a sparse, terse tail of how the war has damaged the minds of three children, though two were only babies when it ended and one born years later. Set in a small seaside town in 1956: World War 2 has been over for eleven years but its legacy lingers in returning soldiers -fathers and brothers and boyfriends, and the bomb sites and bombed out buildings found in every town even decades after the war ended. Air raid shelters are still around, ideal dens for kids to play in and the legacy, the memory of the war is everywhere: in comics, at the cinema, in the stories told by parents and older siblings, in the tales told of fathers who did not return.The war has painted a peculiarly intense mural in Natalie’s head. Her father died at Colditz – she says (but did he? It seems rather romantic; it feels like something made up. I suspect Natalie’s father had used the war to do a runner from his harridan wife). Natalie’s mother is a prostitute (another legacy of the war, perhaps). Natalie’s home-life is squalid, there is never any food or comfort there. Natalie hates the ‘uncles’ who hammer on her door and tell her ‘she’s next’. She wraps herself in a secret fantasy life, draping the room she shares with her brother with blankets and rags like something from an Ali-Baba tale. She hides in the excitement of her mind-damaged brother Philip’s visions and trances. Philip screams when he ‘sees’ left-over Nazis, 'the swastikas on their hearts'. It gives Natalie’s life purpose - to root the secret Nazi’s out, because 'how can evil just stop?'. The tragedy plays out in the voices of the children and Hugo, an artist, friend of Philip and Lizzie, but the main voice is Lizzie’s. Lizzie still feels the war too, but in a very different way from Natalie. Lizzie’s home is comfortably suburban; money and food are abundant, the carpets are deep, the curtains thick velvet, and all cloaked in a stifling bourgeois respectability that Lizzie craves escape from. Lizzie’s mother is Jewish; Lizzie is well aware that if the Germans had won the war, they would have been packed off to the concentration camp but she still hates the peace and yearns for the excitement of wartime. Both girls are looking or escape, for excitement, and when Natalie arrives at Lizzie’s school, ‘like the wild west wind of Shelley’s poem’, Lizzie is thrilled when she is chosen by the glamorous outsider as her special friend, 'kindred spirits forever'. Together, the girls and Philip embark on a summer of driving out the left-over Nazis – until it all goes inevitably wrong…And this is where the book begins to show that it is meant as a children’s book (something I didn’t know when I picked it up, fortunately – I would never have read it if I had realised that) because the trajectory of the tale becomes suddenly very predictable; everything is telegraphed in Philip’s visions and Natalie’s musings. I knew exactly where it was going to go and how it was going to end, but the interest is all in the telling. The journey into the heads of these bored child-adolescents is perfectly done. What they do, how they think, how they build excitement from the mesh of reality and fantasy, making their stories real – it was very much like what I and my tight band of friends used to do when we went hunting for ghosts in old buildings and the graves of missing children on half-wooded demolition sites. Though less extreme and far less cruel than what Natalie and Lizzie get up to, the essence of those long, hot childhood summers in the days before daytime TV, when children were meant to spend their days outdoors, felt incredibly real, perfectly pitched and told in refreshingly few words.

  • Anna Kļaviņa
    2019-01-07 09:47

    This book is short one, but it doesn't feels so and in a very good way. The story is perfectly written nothing is missing and nothing unnecessary is added. In less than 200 pages Hendry tells a gripping, realistic and tragic story of friendship and siblings, ruined families and the losing of childhood innocence.

  • Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
    2019-01-04 06:51

    This review was originally published at Fluttering ButterfliesWow. The Seeing by Diana Hendry is a very disturbing book to read. It isn't a very long book, but it also isn't a quick book to zip through either. It's one of those books where that feeling of unease and a bit of dread kind of creeps up on you without you ever realising it. I love books like that, and I really enjoying reading The Seeing.I'm not generally a fan of books set in historical time periods. The Seeing is a story about three children post-World War II and I can't say that I've read much, if anything, about this time period. But I found myself really interested as soon as I began reading, to see how much the war had played a part in these children's lives. I'd never considered that before and I do love when books make me think in ways that I hadn't previously.Before I say very much about the story, can I just say that I really loved the format of this book. It's told in three points of view. A narrative voice from Lizzie, a young girl, who is feeling a bit lonely and wants a bit of excitement in her life, which she gets when she befriends Natalie one summer. There is also diary entries from Natalie, which show more of her emotional baggage and issues than we realise from Lizzie's perspective. And finally, there are letters written from an artist to his sister about the summer and his progress in painting the locals, including Lizzie, Natalie and Natalie's younger brother, Philip. Usually when a book is written in such a way, I find myself liking certain sections over others, but for each of these three perspectives, I was fascinated. There was some overlap between the narratives, but whenever that happened, it seemed to add a bit more dimension to the story.I really think Diana Hendry did a wonderful job with the characters in this book. I could close my eyes and just see Lizzie, this normal girl from a good family living in this boring seaside town and wanting something to happen. She's still got that childhood innocence and naivety about her and when new girl, Natalie, shows up, all exciting and daring, Lizzie is drawn to her. There's just something wild about Natalie. But we can see as the story goes on that Natalie's wildness stems from a dark place - from the inattention of Natalie's mother, from the over-attention shown by the 'bastard uncles' that populate the house.And together, Lizzie, Natalie and Philip turn this summer of kindred spirits and running wild into something really quite sinister. These three children have grown up during the war and now that it's peacetime, the three children are still struggling with what it all meant and about evil. Convinced that Philip can see what is in people's hearts, Natalie leads this hunt to root out Left-Over Nazis and to force them out of their homes and this town. It was really interesting this book. There's so much about loss of innocence here and about the different ways of seeing, from Philip's psychic ability, to actual eyesight, and the sight that comes with imagination. I was amazed by how disturbed that I became while reading this book and my heart was in my mouth for the build-up to that final harrowing scene. The Seeing by Diana Hendry is a very powerful and emotional story, one that I'm quite glad to have read!

  • Sigourney
    2019-01-20 08:45

    I was so disappointed by this book. The blurb sounded fascinating, but the premise of Philip seeing left over Nazi's seemed quite pointless as I read the book. His 'gift' seems to be nothing more than a strange little boy having strange dreams and his incredibly damaged sister, Natalie, manipulating him, and then Lizzie, into believing that they are ridding the world of these evil people who have been left over from the war. The novel just doesn't seem to fit together right. For most of the novel Natalie comes across as a crazy little brat, then suddenly BOOM! the ending becomes very deep and retrospective, with Lizzie realising that Philip's 'seeing' was more of a metaphor for seeing the world around you and the problems that people could face, including how damaged Natalie was, rather than just Lizzie's assumption of her being wild and fun. The character of Natalie really disappointed me, she was written all wrong. I don't know if it had something to do with it being written from Lizzie's perspective but this book was just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, I did like some parts of it, especially Hugo's character and the letters he wrote to his sister, but apart from that this book just didn't work for me; the ending, however, was fantastic, it was eloquent and haunting and beautiful - but this just highlighted how much the rest of the book didn't fit together. It could've been so much more than it was.

  • Carly
    2019-01-01 07:51

    It was like Long Lankin all over again, seriously. Those Random House girls really know how to build excitement about a book. Two RHCB blogger brunches ago I first heard about The Seeing. I knew I would love it from the moment I first heard about the story. I'm a massive fan of anything creepy and I love stories that can get inside my head and stay in my memory long after I've finished reading. After pretty much an entire year of waiting to finally get my hands on this book a review copy arrived and I read it there and then, the day it clattered through my letter box. Honestly, I was blown again. It absolutely made me stop in my tracks and pay attention to it and I really can't recommend this one enough.Hendry has such a way with words and she managed to truly creep me out throughout The Seeing's relatively short page count of 170. It's easy to read this one in a single sitting and the story is so much darker than I initially thought it was going to be - particularly that ending, wow! I love that the reader goes on the journey right alongside Lizzie. When Lizzie is seduce by Natalie's rebellious personality, so are we. When Lizzie begins to realise something about Natalie and Philip is a little bit...off, so do we. When Lizzie finally realises, with horror, exactly what is going on, so do we. I loved that I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end and with every chapter we learn something new. The pacing is perfect here as well, with highly dramatic moments broken up by some gorgeous prose and description of the seaside town Lizzie calls home.The setting in The Seeing is great, too. Set just after the war in a little seaside town, Hendry creates such a visual world for her story. I could see Lizzie's house, the beach, Natalie's house and Hugo's caravan so clearly in my mind. The Seeing is set in such an interesting time in history and one that we don't see explored too often in YA. The fear and uncertainty that lingered after the war is subtly present in the story, particularly in the actions of Lizzie's mother, who was a great character.Natalie and Philip are two of the most interesting characters I've come across in a long while. I read The Seeing well over a month ago and both of them are still so clear in my mind. Natalie is truly creepy but also damaged and vulnerable, too. She has a cruel streak that has undoubtedly arisen from her difficult upbringing and it was only as the story developed I began to realise exactly how traumatic her childhood probably was. Hendry did a great job with the scenes centred around Natalie's family and they definitely help the reader understand why Natalie is the way she is. Philip, of course, is a true enigma but I found him absolutely fascinating, if a little unsettling.I can't possibly finish this review without mentioning the ending of The Seeing in a little more detail. Obviously I'm not going to give away a single detail but, seriously, I think this is one of the most dramatic and shocking endings I've ever read in a novel, particularly a YA novel. It came completely out of the blue and I definitely didn't see it coming but it was perfect, absolutely the right way to end the story, even if it was a little difficult to read.I honestly can't heap enough praise on this book. It's definitely my favourite read of 2012 so far and I'm so happy that I loved it as much as I thought I would. I haven't read any of Diana Hendry's books before but I'm certainly going to work my way through her backlist now. Please, please hop over to Amazon as quickly as you can and pre-order a copy of this absolute gem - I promise it will blow you away!

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-01-14 02:55

    This story about the friendship of two girls desperate for something away from their small town life, was definitely better than its reviews imply. I loved the way the scenery and characters were described, too.

  • Darsha
    2018-12-30 06:43

    Excellent book . Describes the moments perfectly and gives you a thrilling very emotional end . The war , friendship and betrayal leaves you with a broken heart. Beautiful story which leaves you with a little bit of truth about the world . Love this . 5 stars!

  • Amelia
    2018-12-22 09:56

    Look, it's Harry Potter!

  • Jenna Black
    2019-01-04 06:59

    Short book. Enjoyable.

  • TheBookAddictedGirl
    2019-01-03 08:56

    4¾ Out of 5 "Believe me. Believe Philip. Whoever he's Seen is a LON, a Left-Over Nazi. And we'll find him."The war has been won, peace has been reached and all is calm in the small seaside town of Norton. People are overjoyed to be living in a time of peace and prosperity.Well, everyone except Lizzie. Lizzie, who’s so bored she thinks she’s going mad.Until she meets Natalie: dark, wild, dangerous Natalie. Lizzie is drawn to the out-of-control Natalie, and as they grow closer, Natalie reveals something about her strange little brother, Philip: Philip Sees things no one else can, can see that the threat of war is not over.He can see the “Left-Over Nazis” and it’s up to him and Natalie to find them and force them out of town.To begin with it’s all a game to Lizzie, but before long Philip’s “gift” starts consequences that spin dangerously out of control…I've never read anything by Hendry before, but the moment I read the blurb of this book, I knew I simply had to get my hands on it. It was one of those books you start reading and find you simply cannot put down, no matter how hard you try. It was dark, addictive, seductive and so much more than I ever thought a 170-something paged book could ever be. I don't know if you guys have read it, but something about The Seeing reminded me of The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine. It had the same darkly dangerous feel to it, the same addictiveness. But The Seeing was better in my eyes, much, much better. Incredible, actually, even if the beginning was kinda slow. And, my God, that ending...I must say, Hendry's characterisation was sublime. All the characters were so 3D and intriguing. Lizzie was very much your average teenager, and perfectly embodied how easy it is to get pulled to the ‘dark side’ by boredom or a need for excitement. Natalie was just… well, intriguing. Hendry couldn’t’ve written her better if she spent a million years trying. She was cruel, but she really believed what she was doing. She was “cold”, “ruthless” and so, so complex… Philip was the most interesting of the lot. There was just something about him. He just knew stuff, stuff he shouldn’t – couldn’t – possibly know. All the way through, I couldn’t figure out whether maybe, just maybe, he really did have some kinda “second sight”… Hugo was really sweet and kind; he was probably the most likeable character in the book. I loved getting an outsider’s view of the trio, seeing them all through his eyes. While they were all so well written and padded out, obviously Natalie and Philip stole the show. The writing was just… whoa. It was atmospheric, creepy and so much darker than I thought it could be. And it was all so beautiful: it was like I was there! I loved that we got to read from each of the main characters’ POVs: it meant we got the whole picture. As for the story line, I was hooked from the prologue. I mean, talk about gripping openings! It was one of those that meant you simply had to carry on reading – putting the book down just wasn’t an option! The plot was fast-paced, thrilling, with the perfect amounts of suspense, description and dramatic pauses. As for the ending… Oh. My. God! Just… God…I loved doing post-war Britain in history and have always been fascinated by historical fiction set in that time period. It intrigued me to see the two sides of post-war UK: the rich, prosperous side and the financially struggling, hard-done side. The post-war pain and fear and damage was palpable throughout the book, especially whenever Lizzies mum was involved. The Seeing was like a little time machine back to 1956. I must say, all the themes in this were so much darker than I thought a 176-page-book could have. One example was the way Natalie and co went about ridding the world of “LONs”. It was simply bullying, and if there’s one thing I truly hate, it’s bullying. I actually felt sick to the stomach at some of the things they did… But that just made the book even better, even more powerful. This book literally blew me away. I can’t tell you how powerful and shocking The Seeing was, how addictive it was. This literally has something for everyone: suspense, mystery, historical setting, contemporary themes, thriller, romance, a paranormal tilt… As I neared the end, I found myself reading faster and faster and faster, totally hooked, unable to put the book down, not even for a second… This was such a hard-hitting book, so much so it hurt. Just… whoa. I really don’t know what else I can say. It was just… beyond explanation. Read it, have your mind blown, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • Joanne
    2019-01-07 04:42

    Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.This book! Oh my god, this book is like nothing I have ever read before! So completely disturbing, yet once it gets going, completely unputdownable!There are 176 pages in The Seeing, so I picked it up back in March thinking it will be a super quick read, and as I was so intrigued, I felt fine about reading it back then as it wouldn't take up much of my time. However, I did find it seriously slow at the beginning. It took me a week to read 44 pages. Seriously. I just could not get into it. There was always something else I could be doing, and it felt like such a chore. I ended up picking it up from page 44 and forcing myself to read on, and once I finally got past the slow build up, I was sucked in.What's wonderful about this book is that it is interspersed with entries from Natalie's diary and letters from Hugo, an artist who visits the town of Norton every summer, to his older sister, so we get Natalie's side of things, and a general view point of the three children. This is great because I wasn't entirely sure whether it was all going to be a game Natalie plays on Lizzie. It's not. Natalie firmly believes that her brother has the second sight and can see the Left Over Nazis. She is completely obsessed with finding them and getting rid of them. She is completely off her rocker.But not only that, she can be very malicious. Lizzie is in awe of Natalie's free-spirit seeming ways, and kind of follows her blindly, even when her conscience starts to niggle at her, so with every person accused of being a Left Over Nazi, the taunts they have to suffer... it's just awful! It's bullying, plain and simple, and it's disgusting. But what's worse is, with Natalie's nature, you know something worse is coming, because she is such a dark and sinister character. From her diary entries, we can kind of see why she is the way she is, the awful life she's had, but I find I don't feel sorry for her, just appalled by her. This book is very much like a car crash; you don't want to look, yet you can't help it - and with this book, you don't want to read on for how sick to your stomach you feel, but you absolutely have to. Natalie is in serious need of a straight jacket.What's also interesting is Philip's second sight. Is it just something Natalie has made up in her warped mind, or is there something more to it? Philip does say things now and again that seem odd or things he just shouldn't know. And he's too young to be playing a game himself, he is completely under the control of his older sister. But yet, there are things he says... which has you questioning the innocence of the "Left Over Nazis", even as you feel ridiculous for doing so. You're just never quite sure.The ending is just wow. You know something like it is coming, but you don't know why or how exactly, so it's still a shock and is so, so sad. You just completely ache at how terribly sad it is. This is not a spoiler, because you are aware from the very beginning that this story doesn't end well, that there are no happy endings. But it does take you a little by surprise.If there were to be any negatives for this book, other than the slow beginning, it would be that I'd rather there was more showing than telling when it came to what the people of Norton suffer at the hands of Natalie and Lizzie. I think it would have made it much more disturbing if we got to see more of it, I think that would have been a little better.Overall, a dark, sinister, uncomfortable, yet tragic story that will shock you to your core over how much festering blackness can riddle one young girl. Highly recommended!

  • Serendipity Reviews
    2019-01-16 05:44

    Well this is a slightly disturbing story isn't it. One to make you think! One that may change the way you look at children who you believe to be innocent! I had been desperate to read this book since I first heard about it last year at the RHCB blogger brunch. For a start, the cover really draws you in, you get the sense straight away that this book isn't set in modern times. The added sepia really dates the cover to the appropriate time. This book is set a few years after the war and straight away you sense the relief among the adults that life can now move on and improve. No more rations and learning to live with out - a time to prosper and put the past behind them. However the past isn't as easy to hide as they think. The thoughts and feelings that kept them sleepless through the war have managed to weave their way through the recent years into the minds of the children. Like invisible threads, the children are living with the after effects of the war. The stories they have heard concerning the atrocities of war now plague their dreams and imagination, like a ripple effect.Natalie is a complex child that appears to be enigmatic to begin with. She commands attention and praise, quickly entrancing Lizzie and weaving her into her web of evil. She is the kind of child that makes you feel uneasy, you know there is something not quite so lovely hiding behind the facade. While the centre of attention, she convinces Lizzie and Philip to help her victimise adults purely because Philip really didn't like the look of them. Yet she has managed to brain wash Lizzie to a certain extent to believe they are really 'left-over Nazis' from the war, waiting to take revenge. Lizzie is quite young for her age, and has been wrapped in cotton wool for most of her life, so she instantly believes the world wise Natalie; she is in awe of Natalie and cannot see any flaws in her character until the arrival of Hugo, which causes cracks to appear in Natalie's image.The dynamics of the trio, intrigued me; how Natalie overpowered the other two, until someone more enigmatic stepped in, lowering her control.Hugo becomes the centre of the world for both Lizzie and Philip. They both adore him, leaving Natalie out in the cold. Natalie becomes consumed by jealousy which is her undoing and leads to tragedy. This may be a small book, but it is powerful and packed with atmosphere. The writing is poignant and yet worrying at times, as you see the lengths some children will go to when the green eyed monster takes hold. The setting is very realistic. I felt like I had just stepped into a street just after the war. Everything just came alive under the magical wand of Diana Hendry. I loved the way the book was set out to include letters and diary entries from the other characters to give a fuller picture of how the events of the book occurred.This is definitely a book I would recommend, however it is so different from anything I have read in a long time, I couldn't say who it would suit. Just read it!

  • Lindsay
    2018-12-26 08:33

    ‘Because how can evil just stop…?’The novel opens with a prologue that introduces us to Lizzie; she is dreaming and is evidently distressed, and we know that something upsetting has happened. Then we are taken back to when she first met Natalie and her brother Philip. Well-behaved thirteen-year-old Lizzie is immediately drawn to the much wilder Natalie when she entered the classroom for the first time. ‘I looked at her and she reached to my heart. She went straight there, as if there was something in her that was in me too, only I hadn’t known it before and though I didn’t know what it was, I knew it was important. I wanted her for my friend like I’d never wanted anything before.’Soon Lizzie is spending much of her time with her, she feels they are kindred spirits and she has left behind her former best friends Alice and Dottie, becoming more adventurous and venturing ‘off the beaten track’ as her mother calls it. There is a contrast in their home lives; whilst Lizzie’s family is proud to be moving up in the world, Natalie’s home life seems unsettled and somewhat impoverished. It’s the mid 1950s and thoughts of World War II still occupy both Lizzie and Natalie’s minds. Natalie then reveals to Lizzie that Philip has a strange gift, an ability to see, and she is convinced that he can identify ‘left-over Nazis’ from the war who are living amongst them, perhaps waiting to strike, and she believes that together the three of them can be the ones to rid the place of these people, of the evil that still lives on. She seems driven in this by the fact that her father died in the war. What starts as an exciting plan to Lizzie soon becomes something much more terrible. We also learn of an artist who has visited Norton, the small seaside town which is the setting of the novel, for several years, setting up in his yellow caravan and painting, hoping to forget the painful wartime memories he carries with him. The story has a main first-person narrative from Lizzie’s point of view, but also features letters from the painter, Hugo, to his sister, and then it also includes extracts from Natalie’s diary, so we are able to look at events from several different perspectives and gain insight into their backgrounds. I felt Lizzie was a little naïve to be drawn so easily into Natalie’s ways but it’s quite possible that in her innocence she would have just been so taken with her, so intrigued by her and by this powerful new friendship that she was caught up in the situation. I don’t think I’ve read much fiction before that has looked at the impact and legacy of the effects of war specifically on children, so this is a clever approach for the author to take, and she’s not afraid to explore dark, disturbing thoughts and feelings that the children may have had about the war. This is a well-paced, inventive, dark and mysterious historical tale for young adult readers and I’d certainly say it’s strong and powerful enough for adults too; I found it fascinating, compelling, unsettling and sad, and the cover image is fittingly rather haunting too.

  • Reece
    2018-12-24 06:54

    Lizzie is a thirteen year old girl in 1953 who finds growing up in the post war peace of the seaside English village of Norton boring. The tranquillity of peace is quickly changed when Natalie and her brother Phillip arrive in town. Attracted to Natalie's wild spirit, Lizzie befriends the newcomer and soon becomes caught up in Natalie's grand plan to eradicate evil.Natalie reveals that her younger brother has "second sight" and can see the swastikas on people's heart. The siblings believe the world is full of "left-over Nazis" and that it's their duty to revenge the cruelties of the concentration camps. The three embark on a quest to rid Norton of Nazis and what unfolds is a haunting tale of friendship, anger, love, hate and consequence.What I thought about this book (my likes/dislikes and feelings): I was so disappointed by this book. The blurb sounded fascinating, but the premise of Philip seeing left over Nazi's seemed quite pointless as I read the book. His 'gift' seems to be nothing more than a strange little boy having strange dreams and his incredibly damaged sister, Natalie, manipulating him, and then Lizzie, into believing that they are ridding the world of these evil people who have been left over from the war. The novel just doesn't seem to fit together right. For most of the novel Natalie comes across as a crazy little brat, then suddenly BOOM! the ending becomes very deep and retrospective, with Lizzie realising that Philip's 'seeing' was more of a metaphor for seeing the world around you and the problems that people could face, including how damaged Natalie was, rather than just Lizzie's assumption of her being wild and fun. The character of Natalie really disappointed me, she was written all wrong. I don't know if it had something to do with it being written from Lizzie's perspective but this book… Just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, I did like some parts of it, especially Hugo's character and the letters he wrote to his sister, but apart from that this book just didn't work for me; the ending, however, was fantastic, it was expressive and haunting and beautiful - but this just highlighted how much the rest of the book didn't fit together. It could've been so much more than it was.

  • Kirsty
    2019-01-10 02:33

    This was a short, chilling and atmospheric read which I enjoyed.The thing I enjoyed most about this book was the historical backdrop it is set in. It's set in post war Britain which is a fascinating world to read about. The country is changing as people are demanding more after having to experience total war and the demands that experience put on the population whether they were part of the armed forces or not. For some living in this new world means finally having all those things they couldn't have before and saw the explosion of the cosumer market whilst others still lived in poverty. I liked seeing the contrast between the families of the two girls at either end of this scale and seeing how their world views differed because of this.The book also builds up a sense of paranoia. You are never quite sure whether or not Philip's abilities are real or not and the way in which he and his sister hunt out old Nazis is creepy. It shows you how the actions of a few can make life very difficult for outsiders and also leaves you with a seed of doubt in your mind to whether these people are as innocent as they say they are or whether it is just post-war hysteria. The ending of the book was the most unsettling for me. The story goes very dark and wasn't at all what I expected from the book which was quite nice in someways as I hadn't second guessed what might happen and was therefore surprised.All in all a unique and interesting read.

  • John Naylor
    2019-01-16 07:40

    When I end a book in tears it generally gets a high rating.I perceive this novel to be about perception. The seeing is how people see things. The main characters are all damaged in some way and all lost something during World War 2. It deals with paranoia and (on a minor scale) propaganda. One of the characters shows an almost fascist like determination to manipulate other characters and get them to be against other characters. It also deals with a victim of child abuse without going into detail. It deals with survivor's guilt as well as touching on the class divide in 1950's England. For a short book it has a lot of content and I enjoyed reading it all. Parallels are easily drawn when someone is discriminating against people who are 'different' too. The manipulation of a character to seem to be psychic has happened a lot as well throughout the years. I started this book expecting a paranormal experience and I was happy that it turned out to be a human experience instead. A 5 star recommendation.

  • Helen Stower
    2019-01-04 07:49

    Lizzie is a thirteen year old girl in 1953 who finds growing up in the post war peace of the seaside English village of Norton boring. The mundanity of peace is quickly changed when Natalie & her brother Phillip arrive in town. Attracted to Natalie's wild spirit, Lizzie befriends the newcomer and soon becomes caught up in Natalie's grand plan to eradicate evil.Natalie reveals that her younger brother has "second sight" and can see the swastikas on people's heart. The siblings believe the world is full of "left-over Nazis" (LONs) and that it's their duty to revenge the cruelties of the concentration camps. The three embark on a quest to rid Norton of LONs and what unfolds is a haunting tale of friendship, anger, love, hate & consequence.This is a great story that engages the reader immediately but has a tension that makes you feel uncomfortable through out. Haunting is another word that could adequately be used to describe this tale.

  • Emma
    2019-01-09 04:02

    UGGGGHHHHH. I hate the lead characters. I hate the minor characters. I hated reading this book. I feel a bit bad for abandoning it just as it was starting to get 'interesting'. But I was more than half way through and I just didn't care, I didn't care if there were any LONs in their little village and I didn't care about the outcome of the spoilt brat or the troubled-yet-(apparently)-interesting youth. My main problem is I didn't believe it. I think in order to enjoy a book like this which is trying so hard (OH SO HARD) to be atmospheric is that you have to believe and I just didn't. I've read a lot of the other reviews though and most people seemed to enjoy it and apparently I missed out on a really big ending. Oh well, I'm sure I'll live. DNF and it's going straight back to the charity shop of shame.

  • Sophie
    2018-12-23 02:48

    The Seeing was not what I expected. I expected a story that was more about the mysteries of what young Philip was or wasn't seeing. Instead it is a story about friendship, childhood and the dangers of childish games that can get quickly out of hand. I didn't feel particularly attached to Lizzie; I wasn't invested in what did or didn't happen to her. Philip and Hugo were by far the most interesting of the characters in the novel but unfortunately, I felt that they were awarded the least amount of time. One thing I will say is that the novel wasn't predictable. I certainly expected a different ending to the one that was written. The Seeing was a book that I had to plug away at, rather than being desperate for some free time when I could continue reading.

  • Fiona Hocking
    2019-01-06 07:37

    All about how children are influenced and how careful we need to be to ensure that they know they are loved and special. I was convinced that Philip's seeing was a form of untreated epilipsy - and was disgusted that these poor children had seemingly slipped through the social welfare cracks. Children are the responsibility of all, we need to be mindful of what's happening around us. Hugo's relationship with Philip was heartwarming and a highlight of the story. I'm not sure if I liked the book that much. I would have like more of everything, if the ghastly deeds were worse, if the Seeing was more, if...just more.

  • Adele Broadbent
    2018-12-22 08:01

    A creepy, disturbing, thoroughly believable story set in a quiet seaside town. the main character Lizzie is bored and instantly drawn to brash, confident Natalie - the new girl in school.But Natalie is different in other ways too. She confides to Lizzie that her brother 'sees' inside people and can see their hidden Swastika hearts.Caught up in Natalie and her strange brother, Lizzie goes along with things until she realises the truth - too late.A story about new friends, first crushes, control, manipulation, neglect and guilt. Powerful.Excellent read.

  • Georgia
    2019-01-20 09:55

    This book was a difficult one. I did enjoy it, specifically in the last third or so, but it was slow going, for me anyway. the protagonist/s are 13, and although that's only two years younger than me, I think that might have a role to play in how tricky I found it to get into. Also, without giving too much away, the ending was a bit rushed, and seemed sort of... out of place for want of a better term. However, it was quite short, and there certainly were aspects I enjoyed and that I think others would enjoy as well. But put it this way; it wasn't the best book I've ever read.

  • Kay Ogundimu
    2018-12-22 04:02

    I just finished reading it and wow!It was one of those very rare moments when you pick up a because the cover grabs your attention. The you read the synopsis. And finally the storey takes hold of you to the point where you don't want to put it down.Not usually my kind of Nobel but I truly recommend this book to all readers. Beautifully written and captures the true thoughts and essence of youth and friendship.

  • Bev
    2019-01-09 03:37

    An incredibly disturbing book. It reminded me a bit of The Chocolate War in the way that something that seemed mostly harmless to start with ended up being taken way too far. There were times I wanted to shake Lizzie, but all in all it was a good read. Short but intense.

  • Zoe
    2018-12-29 02:00

    So depressing! Seriously though. If you like crying your eyes out over things that shouldn't have happened anyway - read this.I'm going to re-read to see if my views have changed since 3 years ago, but I'll probably regret it.....

  • Ellie
    2018-12-23 04:33

    A short, but unsettling book and one that packed a punch. Throughout you are aware that the plot is building towards a dramatic event, and when it did happen it was not what I was expecting. A book that will stay with me for a long time.

  • Katy Noyes
    2019-01-06 02:56

    I couldn't feel angry at Natalie or that it was her fault. What a terrible start to her life (and her brother's). But should Lizzie have been able to 'see' what was wrong and do something? Will ponder for a while on that.Very well written, liked seeing the various characters' views of each other.

  • Heather
    2018-12-20 02:52

    The Seeing was a powerful, dark, and a little bit disturbing novel. I was sucked in after the first few pages! I don't really have anything bad to say about it. It was just so good and I was unable to put it down! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a dark and semi-quick read!

  • Debra
    2019-01-19 09:45

    For a more detailed review, please check out my review below:Debra's Book CafeDebs :-)

  • Viola Sung
    2019-01-01 02:34

    Haunting, thought-provoking.