I found this book incredibly problematic. The two main plots–the frog and the submarine seemed disjointed. The end of the book left me asking “what was the point of this novel?” And not in the thoughtful way where there is a richness to explore but in a “I would like the past hour of my life back, please” way.
Ok, that sounds really harsh. The main character gains his morality from his obnoxious neighbor, who he befriends in the end because she is such a “know it all”–to the extent that he must admit that she is right about both the frog AND the submarine. Owen’s other two friends are less developed and rather static, as are the parents and housekeeper. The subplot about the relationship between Owen and his grandfather seemed as though it could offer a richer reading if it was more thoroughly developed.