Sleep-depriving novel

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane
Holy Toledo. What a book.
I read this puppy in two days flat, which included one quite late night because I Could Not Stop reading.
Despite my general antipathy for historical fiction.
This one really pulls a person in.
First, it’s about a tragedy, so I’m a sucker for that.
But it’s also told in such a way that we know there’s more to the story, and it is revealed ever so gradually. So there’s a quiet suspense that builds. Not a big, dramatic, in-your-face suspenseful thing, but the dreadful feeling that the truth has been hidden, the truth is complicated, and the truth is not very nice.
This novel is based on an actual event that took place in London during the Blitz. During an air raid (during which no bombs were dropped), 173 people died in a crush in a stairwell at the Bethnal Green tube shelter.
The novel follows a small cast of characters whose lives intersect on the 30th anniversary of the tragedy: the man who ran the inquiry and wrote the report about the event, a woman who survived the crush as a child but who retains emotional scars, and a young documentary filmmaker with a personal connection to the event.
The story goes back and forth from the 1970s to the 1940s, and it’s breathtaking.
I absolutely cannot wait for more people to read this book so we can talk.
(Watch out if you see me coming your way; I may try to thrust this book into your hand, and there’ll be no escaping me.)

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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