RING THE JUDAS BELL by James Forman
Kirkus Star

RING THE JUDAS BELL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This story of the heroism of a 15-year-old boy is an excellent choice displaying as it does the intensity of feeling and the idealism special to youth, without any simplification or prettification of wartime life. The setting is Serifos, one of many small, isolated Greek villages, a universe in itself until it was jolted into the rest of the world by WW II. To drive out the enemy a guerrilla movement was formed, but by the end of the occupation it had become Communist controlled and was terrorizing the villages in a drive to overthrow the government. With morality no longer clear-cut, Serifos was left divided. The Orthodox priest, Father Lanaras, led the pacifist movement. To his son he represented a person who could recognize but surmount the conflicts of the world, yet even he became disillusioned when the bell was cut down and his children kidnapped. Nicholas, sustained by his faith in his father's ideals overcame all his fears and led the children of Serifos in a treacherous escape from the prison camp. In contrast is his sister who was intensely aware of life and its complexities and willing to compromise. The Judas Bell rings very true in its presentation of a time and a world caught between a fixed faith and the changing ethics of existence during the war.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1965
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux