Study Guide

Postcards from No Man's Land Warfare

By Aidan Chambers


You don't have to get beyond the cover to figure out Postcards from No Man's Land is about war. It's set during a battle in World War II, and then the anniversary of that battle, and follows the love story of a soldier and his makeshift nurse. But war is more than just the backdrop. The fact that lives are at stake ups the risk for the Geertrui and Jacob, and they are confronted with death all the time—so they've got to figure out how to survive with Nazis literally knocking down their doors. Asking someone to the prom doesn't seem so scary anymore, now that we think about it.

Questions About Warfare

  1. Would Geertrui and Jacob act differently without the war going on all around them? Do you think they still would have fallen in love?
  2. Alma tells Jacob that even though the war was horrible, it made people come together and bond more. Do you agree? Do we see that in Geertrui's memoir?
  3. How does the war (and the stories from it) affect the younger Jacob? Why is it so important for him to see his grandpa's grave in Holland?
  4. Why do you suppose Jacob ends up dying of a heart attack, and not a war-related injury? Is it more or less traumatic for Geertrui to experience his death this way?

Chew on This

Postcards from No Man's Land shows the morbid consequences of war, but it also demonstrates how war can unite people to work together and help each other out.

Overall, Postcards from No Man's Land makes an anti-war statement.