As is often the case in family dramas the problems feel petty compared to the events occurring in the background. The book is strongest when it views war through its children's characters' eyes, as they have a difficult time understanding why they have limitations--but the rest of the time, it's bickering and complaining about how people aren't what you expected. It can definitely be poetic and even delightful. I just wish it hadn't meandered quite so much. Some sections seemed unnecessary, while others could have used more. But that's life. It isn't always clean and interesting. Ah, family drama.