Troubador The Fruit Thieves

Released: 28/10/2020

ISBN: 9781838595364

eISBN: 9781800467422

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Fruit Thieves


In the middle of the last century, in a small remote town lost in the foothills of the magnificent Caucasus Mountains, the local children raid their neighbours’ fruit orchards during the summer holidays. The best apples for Pasha, the nine-year old boy, are behind the impenetrable fence of the Glumins, a weird Old-Believer couple who live next door, and in the orchard of a wicked neighbour, Bullin. Bullin is a cruel man who inflicts suffering on animals and deserves to be punished.

There are plenty of other orchards where the children of River End Street can satisfy their fruit hunger. The cherries of the old couple living by the riverbank can be reached by climbing up the fence, and it is possible to get away unnoticed. Or is it? Fruit adventures are risky and some end up in near disaster. There are scary stories about fruit thieves who are cruelly punished. Yet Pasha absolutely had to steal some of his neighbours’ tantalising apples. He tried and ended up being caught. But what would the punishment be?

The Fruit Thieves is a debut novel by Max Simov. The story, based on Simov's own childhood in Southern Russia, follows nine year old Pasha and his younger sister Sofka on their various childhood escapades, many of which centre around raiding their neighbours' fruit orchards. This is technically forbidden, of course, not to mention a highly risky business but, then again, isn't that part of the appeal? These adventures are a lot of fun to read and had a definite feel of Roald Dahl's 'Boy' to them with the children's high attention to detail and planning of their cohort fruit stealing missions, and the inevitable chaos that often ensued.

I found myself fully invested in the characters and particularly enjoyed the children's run ins with their quirky neighbours, many of which made me nostalgic for my own childhood. The rural small-town setting in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains was another delight.

Though I am technically older than the target audience for this book, I found great joy in it and loved it so much that I finished it within a day. Max Simov is a wonderful story teller and I hope to see many more books from him in the future. I also really wish I had a colour kindle so I could do this beautiful cover justice! 4/5.

My review is live on my Instagram feed jaderia_reads now. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this book.

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