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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov

 Jihadi: A Love Story is a psychological thriller which I found to be an extremely challenging read. I was reading it at the time that the atrocities in Brussels were occurring and I found it difficult to engage with the subject matter. It is a complicated plot line which cannot easily be skimmed over. It makes the reader evaluate the truth and there are many twists and turns as the story develops.

    It begins in a secret terrorist prison cell where a former intelligence agent is being held and has written his memoir. This memoir is being assessed by a psychologist who annotates the text from her own perspective. The trouble is, it is very difficult to know who is to be trusted. You can't make assumptions about any part of it. Extremists are on both sides. 

    Told through the lives of a range of characters, the story poses questions as to the nature of terrorism, religious fervour, leadership and fanaticism. Moving backwards and forwards in time, different stories are woven together. On  Safen Maken Findley's blog, the author, Yusuf Toropov has posted a guest post on the writing of Jihadi. You can read it here.

 Thanks to Orenda Books for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


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