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The Real Peter Pan by Piers Dudgeon

Thursday, August 11, 2016
The world has long been captivated by the story of Peter Pan and the countless movies, plays, musicals, and books that retell the story of Peter, Wendy, and the Lost Boys. Now, in this revealing behind-the-scenes book, author Piers Dudgeon examines the fascinating and complex relationships among Peter Pan's creator, J.M. Barrie, and the family of boys who inspired his work.

After meeting the Llewelyn Davies family in London's Kensington Garden, Barrie struck up an intense friendship with the children and their parents. The innocence of Michael, the fourth of five brothers, went on to influence the creation of Barrie's most famous character, Peter Pan. Barrie was so close to the Llewelyn Davies family that he became trustee and guardian to the boys following the deaths of their parents. Although the relationship between the boys and Barrie (and particularly between Barrie and Michael) was enduring, it was punctuated by the fiercest of tragedies. Throughout the heart-rending saga of Barrie's involvement with the Llewelyn Davies brothers, it is the figure of Michael, the most original and inspirational of their number, and yet also the one whose fate is most pitiable, that stands out.

The Real Peter Pan is a captivating true story of childhood, friendship, war, love, and regret.

Goodreads Summaries 

I was really surprised by the origins behind Peter Pan. I had not realized that the character of Peter Pan was even based off of anyone though I should have known better after watching Saving Mr. Banks. The character that Peter Pan is based upon is a little tragic and I was not expecting the events of the true story. The parallels between the Llewelyn family and the Disney story are unmistakable and Michael's character smacks of Peter's. 

It's hard to describe the book and the characters without giving too much away and going into too much detail.  I loved the richness of the back stories and how they all tied in to influence the writing of Peter Pan.  I loved the emotions the book is able to evoke.  I was surprised by how much I cared for the characters at the end of the book.  Overall, this book is a good, informative, and thought-evoking book.

4 Stars

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