How did I get the book? Review copy.
First Impression: This won’t be fun.
Synopsis: An impossible love story set against the backdrop of the Iraq war, A Brighter Fear will appeal to everyone who loved a gathering light.
This debut novel is the story of Lina, a teenage girl from Baghdad, and it starts as the bombs fall in 2003. It is a love story: for a country, and for a person too. There is an object that is lost, but may yet be found again.
200 words (or less) review: A Brighter Fear is not an easy read, it’s a book you know will task you before you even turn the first page. It was sitting on my shelf for a while before I picked it up.
Reading Lina’s story is like reading an autobiography – there is very little dialogue throughout the book instead we learn what is happening through Lina’s observations and thoughts. Thoughts, which at the beginning of the book she makes clear, she shouldn’t have. It makes the book very personal but also hard to read.
There are a few chapters interspersed telling you what happened to Sasha (Lina’s mother) which given the style of narration feel out of place. While I wanted to know what became of her I felt this method made Lina’s narration less convincing. Every time I’d lost myself believing Lina was real the jump to third person for Sasha’s story dragged me back out again.
I’m not sure I would have picked this book up in a shop, I’d like to hope I would have but the blurb didn’t particularly entice me to read A Brighter Fear. Having said that I am glad I read it.
Yes but it’s not an “entertaining” read.