Elephant Moon by JohnSweeney Online

Elephant Moon
Title : Elephant Moon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781909269019
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 300

Based on a true account, an unforgettable tale of courage and compassion in the worst of times.As the Second World War rages and the Axis powers threaten the whole world, the Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma and the British and Americans prepare to flee.But the human legacy of the British Empire will be left behind in the shape of sixty-two Anglo-Burmese children, bornBased on a true account, an unforgettable tale of courage and compassion in the worst of times.As the Second World War rages and the Axis powers threaten the whole world, the Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma and the British and Americans prepare to flee.But the human legacy of the British Empire will be left behind in the shape of sixty-two Anglo-Burmese children, born to local women after affairs with foreign men. Half-castes, they are not European enough to be shipped to India, but they are too European to be safe once the Japanese and their friends take power. With no one to protect them, no families and no country, they are to be abandoned. Their teacher Grace Collins, a young Englishwoman, refuses to join the European evacuation and instead sets out to deliver the orphans to the safety of India herself. She faces impossible odds because between her and India lie one thousand miles of jungle, mountains, rivers and the constant, unseen threat of the Axis powers. With Japanese soldiers chasing them down, the group struggles westwards as every day their chances of survival shrink. And then one day the early morning mist parts to reveal a herd of fifty-three elephants making their own exodus to India. These elephants, with their awesome strength and kindness, quickly become the orphans’ only hope of survival. Based on the true story of the elephant men who rescued refugees and delivered them to safety in 1942, Elephant Moon is an unforgettable epic tale of courage and compassion in the midst of brutality and destruction.


Elephant Moon Reviews

  • Cecilia

    Set in Burma during World War II, Elephant Moon focusses upon the plight of an orphanage populated by the children of mixed parentage at a time when tension was rife between the Burmese and their British colonisers.The topic of this book is interesting, then - I would go so far as to call it a page-turner - and John Sweeney's prose is fluent and descriptive, so it's a shame that his dialogue and characterisation lets him down so much. The protagonist, Grace Collins, seems to be unable to do any [...]

  • J.C. Greenway

    This is a cracking tale, apparently based on a true story, but unfortunately John Sweeney doesn't manage to fully do it justice. The characters are very weak, with heroine Grace too good to be true and a bad guy who is 100% villain. Out of sixty-odd children in the school, only a few are even honoured with names and they fade into the background when not needed to push the plot along. Too much is told, not shown - with a lot of interesting back stories glossed over - and the relationships don't [...]

  • Paul Sheppard

    One if the best books I've read the year. A surprising page turner which had me hooked from the first page. I'm not going to do an in-depth review, if you have not read this book then please do, you may just love it as much as I did.

  • Mikayla

    I found most of this book to be pretty basic or boring. Though I did enjoy the parts with the children and elephants. The children discovering the elephants was pretty magical.

  • Gemma Wheeler

    I loved this book and read it in less than two days-I couldn't put it down! Brilliantly written and would highly recommend!

  • Amalia Gavea

    This was a novel I really enjoyed on many levels. I had a vague idea of the contradictory reviews of the readers, but I seldom let negative opinions influence me when it comes to historical fiction, if I am really interested in the era and the subject.I hadn't read any work of fiction or non - fiction, before I started reading Elephant Moon, about Burma and the region as a whole during the Second World War, so I was completely invested in the story. John Sweeney's writing is simple and beautiful [...]

  • Cassandra

    As somebody on said, this book can be described as "very put downable". It would have been great had the characters been expanded upon and the story not sensationalised. To me, it read like a screenplay, where they take a story and "flatten" it out so that only the biggest events take place in the film. It was meant to be a fictional testament to the struggles refugees in Burma had to face, but I felt as if it disrespected the genuine history by adding gore, violence and unlikable characters.Ha [...]

  • Meredith

    Is it a romance hidden in a war story, or a war story hidden in a romance? There's a lot of drama and intrigue, almost too much; the weight is a bit heavy for this little story to bear. There are more than a few cliches weighing the book down, and its characters labour under laughable and predictable story mechanics. It seems that in trying to include too many story avenues, the book falls short in conveying the full menace of the situations. The dynamics and personalities of the elephants are w [...]

  • Avery Delany

    It's a shame that I could only give this 3 star's as the book held promise, but had so many downfalls. Whilst the book picks up in the middle and really saves the experience, the beginning is a massive drag. As others have said, once you put the book down its hard to pick up again. Several times I almost gave up, but kept going out of curiosity and it was much easier once you meet the Jemadar. I really enjoyed the middle of the book. I found many of the characters unlikable in the beginning, and [...]

  • Lynette

    DNF at 25%. Here's the proof that getting the free sample from doesn't guarantee you won't waste your money. I thought that sample was good enough to warrant buying the book, reviews are very good. But for me, to get to a quarter of the way through a book and still not be engaged with any of the characters means it's time up. Too descriptive on the scenes and settings and zero character development. Massive disappointment.

  • Danielle

    This wasn't quite the page-turner I was hoping for, but it was still a fab read at times, especially if you love elephants! Set during WWII in the midst of Burma, an orphanage of children with their teacher, and elephants, trek through forest in search of a more promising future. I didn't hugely warm to the characters, and in fact was in between a 3 and 4 star review. Elephants win me over every time!

  • Amy

    I loved the concept with the elephants but the writing style did not appeal to me, especially when from the point of view of the bad guy, too overly evil.

  • Christiane

    At the hands of a gifted novelist this could have been a 5-star read because of the captivating premise.As it is, the lovingly portrayed elephants and some brilliant descriptions of scenery are the only saving graces of this story. Without Mother and Oomy the book would have lost another star.What makes it so mediocre are the human protagonists who are cleanly divided into a lot of noble goodies and one evil baddy and the stereotypes are all there : the plucky, stunningly beautiful, golden-haire [...]

  • Lilly_fantastico

    This is perhaps one of the best books I've read in a long time. By turns gripping and moving, not just because you know the story is true (or at least inspired by true events), but because the narrative is well-paced, seamlessly written, and the characters almost tangible. From the very first sentence, one is immediately transported into 1940s Burma, one can immediately conjure a full and vital image of each character. It's a cliche, but it's apt: "you're there".Sweeney is as excellent a novelis [...]

  • Stephen Crabbe

    Reading this novel was a wonderful experience. The author's supple prose is vivid and fluent, the narrative voice strong and authentic. I immediately liked and empathised with the main character, a young woman, and loved the depth and interest given to several secondary but important characters. Even several elephants, a group forming a central factor in the story, become fascinating characters as the author portrays their different behaviours. The historical period chosen for the tale presents [...]

  • Sarah

    Generally, I am not a great fan of WW2 literature - there is so much of it that it can become a bit tedious. However, this was a bit different, set in Burma, with the Japanese attacking and the Indians not sure which way to turn - should they throw their lot in with the Japanese to overcome colonial rule? The book narrates a tale based on fact, of an escape from Burma to India through the jungles and across the foothills of the Himalayas, in an old bus kindly donated by the British and then on e [...]

  • Nicole

    The war in Asia seems to be the theme of the month. The first third of the book is very well written with nice touches of detail in the descriptions. Things seem to have gone wrong in the middle and then completely cracked up in the end. I hate when writers abdicate responsibility for writing the ending of a story and just tie things up in a page. I kept waiting for terrible things to happen but it is all sort of too easy breezy. Still worth reading if only to stimulate an interest in more readi [...]

  • Anne

    ELEPHANT MOON, John Sweeney. BURMA, WWII when Japanese invade Burma, Malay Peninsula. An interesting tale of moving half caste children out of Rangoon heading to India and safety from the Japanese. Along the way the troop faces major challenges which in part are resolved when they join with a teak merchant and his elephants whose great strength and size are used to advantage. A villain is added to create interest and tension, but IMO weakens the story.

  • Jo

    A novel centred around the fall of Burma during the Second World War. Grace is a young teacher at an orphanage for abandoned half-Burmese children. When news comes that the Japanese are invading she sets off with all 63 to try and escape to India. What follows is a nail biting trek that includes trials, tribulations and elephants. This was heart stopping in parts and had me totally gripped throughout.

  • Karen

    Oh dear. I am sure there is a fantastic story to be told about the escape of Burmese orphans during WWII, unfortunately this isn't it. The author just didn't handle it well. The characters were one dimensional, melodramatic and unbelievable, even the elephants didn't fare well. But I finished it, which is a plus, isn't it?

  • Siubhan

    I struggled through this book to a certain point - until the phrase 'love of her life' made me groan and fling my kindle at the wall. Huge disappointment - one dimensional characters, stilted set pieces all a bit hard work really for very little reward. I rarely put a book aside but I just felt this one simply wasn't worth finishing.

  • Brono

    I've never read a book based on a true story (related to war)ry touching from beginning to end and easy to get emotional (if you're like the ones who immerse yourself into the story). I cannot imagine what it was living during such a time but this book really made the job! Highly recommended.

  • Josie Crimp

    I really wanted to like this book, based on the setting and the plot, but I found that the characters were too predictable, and I didn't really feel there was enough depth to the story. I'm afraid I got a third of the way in, then gave up and didn't finish.

  • Jennifer Campbell

    More of a 3.5

  • Allison

    3 at the start, 4 by the end. 3.5 stars.

  • Andrea

    Abandoned 2/3 way through. Tired of cliched characters. Early book in Rangoon interesting but becomes repetitive & full of people falling in love after 5 secs.

  • Nicola

    Great story very poorly told.

  • Jill

    Enjoyed this a lot. Looked at utube suggested and is great

  • Gemma Bennett

    Not exactly the page turner I expected; being a lover of feel good, animal led real life tales, I thought Elephant Moon would be my next loved book of 2017 but albeit heartfelt and magically whimsical when the children first encounter the elephants this book lacked in character development or depth. I must admit this being said, the characteristics of the elephants was worthwhile; both Mother and her baby were the stars of this book. Their relationship was one of the most real. As Sweeney said [...]

  • Deborah Aponte

    Overall I enjoyed this book, but I had to get use to the vocabulary from the 1940’s, and British terms and also terms from India. Once I got accustomed to that, it became an easier read. It was nice to read about a courageous women who displayed great compassion along with a great sense of justice. I love animals, so the description of the elephants interaction with each other and with humans was beautiful. The loyalty of the elephants is something more humans should display. I would recommend [...]