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The Report – Jessica Francis Kane

I read about this novel here and was intrigued and then in one of those strange coincidences my mother had it and passed it onto me.

Here’s the blurb …

An evocative re-imagining of a World War II civilian disaster

On a March night in 1943, on the steps of a London Tube station, 173 people die in a crowd seeking shelter from another air raid. When the devastated neighborhood demands a report, the job falls to magistrate Laurence Dunne.

In this beautifully crafted novel, Jessica Francis Kane paints a vivid portrait of London at war. As Dunne investigates, he finds the truth to be precarious, even damaging. When he is forced to reflect several decades later, Dunne must consider whether he chose the right course. The Report is a compelling commentary on the way all tragedies are remembered.

I enjoyed it – although I have to say I need to read something cheerful next having just read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and The Casual Vacancy. This novel is beautifully written – the mystery of the disaster unfolding throughout the story until the final sad (but shocking) conclusion. It was also about guilt and redemption and how easily one small act of frustration can spiral out of control into disaster. This novel is definitely worth reading (if only to learn about a forgotten part of World War Two history).

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