The Way of a Boy is Ernest Hillen's story about his life in a Japanese prison camp in Java during World War Two. Hillen was only a boy at the time—he spent ages seven to eleven in the camp—and instead of looking back from the vantage point of adulthood, he chooses to tell his story from the point of view of his boyhood self, without benefit of hindsight or grown-up judgements. Maintaining this narrative posture could not have been easy and Hillen is to be congratulated for bringing it off. For the most part young Hillen did not witness the horrors of the camp, or if he did he chooses not to dwell on them in the book. Instead, we get an account of how he, his brother and mother manage to create some semblance of orderly domestic life in a moral jungle. It is fascinating to observe the necessary acts of childhood—finding and keeping friends, staying out of trouble, trying to figure out how the adult world works—working themselves out in such a threatening environment.