The Ulster ‘troubles’ of recent decades have bequeathed a number of legacies, not the least of which is a substantial range of children’s and young adult fiction dealing with various manifestations of inter-community strife. Now, however, a ‘Peace Process’, fragile though it may be, has arrived and Garrett Carr’s novel is one of the first to choose this as backdrop. Here, the fictional Ulster port he names ‘Hardglass’ is a place where, at least for his teenage characters, ‘the past was rejected, the future unconsidered’, where ‘they lived entirely in the swirl of the present’. And what a pulsing swirl Carr’s turns out to be as his story unfolds some very murky goings-on in the city’s docks, where a ship lies waiting to sail off to Africa with a monstrously canine cargo of weaponry. Akeem, a young Muslim stowaway, has just arrived from Nigeria on this same vessel and it will be his involvement with three native Hardglass 14-year-olds – May, Ewan and Andrew – which will provide the starting point for a lively, colourful and extremely skilfully paced plot, over which the shadow of recent Hardglass darkness is omnipresent. Characterisation is sharp and nicely individualised, the tone is perky and, quite frequently, witty; the overall outcome is an entertaining and cleverly constructed portrait of a society where fantasy and reality are never too far apart.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2011-01-01 00:00:532022-02-27 10:03:18Lost Dogs