Review published on November 10, 2017.
When I read a book, there is a need not only to gain enjoyment from the novel, going through all the different emotions which a good novel can bring about, and this novels gives the reader the full sets of emotions. It had me laughing one moment then in tears the next.
You also need to be informed on the subject matter at hand and the author has managed this in great detail on the subject of a asylum seeker coming to the UK.
You can tell from the information that develops throughout the book on immigration control that the author has put a lot of time and effect into gathering facts and protocols regarding how asylum seekers are managed or, to put it another way, treated in a less than humane way when coming into the UK.
Spending time on researching this has gone a long way to making this story so believable. A young woman named Dalila from Kenya is trying to escape a very brutal and violent past and sees the UK as her saviour, the country of good over evil, only to find another kind of evil in the UK.
The skillful writing of descriptions of places also added to my enjoyment of the novel. At the start of the novel, with the detail about coming into the UK and going through custom control, it was like being there with Dalila and this theme continued throughout the book.
I cannot remember when only on the first few pages of a book that I had related to a character so early on and became worried about their outcome. I needed to continue to read how Dalila would get out of one danger only to fall into another.
The only slight let down was the plot, sometimes I could see the twists coming, but in no way did this impact on a well told story of what life throws at us and how we adapted to tell our story, our ubuntu.
Ian Wells 4/-
Dalila by Jason Donald
Jonathan Cape 9781910702482 hbk Jan 2017
Gill Chedgey’s Ten Books and Why I Acquired Them