Taking Responsibility for the Moon is now launched, with a few sales under my belt, so now it’s time to turn a little attention back to my reading. After all, what writer doesn’t read voraciously? Reading, wRiting and Reviewing. So, just finished reading AND reviewing Heather Stroud’s Abraham’s Children
The novel follows the story of Fida who was caught in the July 7th London bombing, losing her mother and scarcely managing to emerge herself, leaving her both physically and emotionally scarred and abandoned by her boyfriend.
It’s a story of quest – for her lost father (of whose existence she was scarcely aware), and her father’s homeland, Palestine, and finally for her own soulmate. During the telling, Stroud explores the Palestinian conflict, inter-state terrorism and the plight of the Palestinian people. She examines the big questions – Zionism, the reign of ideologies and the powers which lie behind the global political theatre.
The plot is well-structured and evolves with menace, while the characters are so believable it reads like faction. Perhaps it is. Stroud has researched impeccably and explores issues through dialogue between the characters with a depth reminiscent of Doris Lessing.
The content portrays place with convincing detail, while the style, I would say, feels less a work of art than a means of communicating a point of view, a passion for telling the facts as they stand rather than through propaganda. In places, the characterisation is not without flaws. For instance, Fida’s grief at losing her baby isn’t dealt with, perhaps, as the engaged reader would expect, or desire. Sadly, also the publication hasn’t been edited with rigour, which detracts somewhat from the overall enjoyment of the read.
Overall, however, it is a brave book, and a strong one. It engages and provokes thought. Which, after all, is the point of original, writerly expression.