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Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Very well written and researched." Old Bones by @DonQuixote43rd #bookreview


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Old Bones


Written by Ian Roberts


Genre: Historical Romance


Book Synopsis

Old Bones' is a historical romance within a tale of political struggle, and celebrates the determination, organisation and victory of the communities that united to prevent Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists marching through the East End of London, in 1936.

Sharon's Rating





Sharon's Review


This story has one foot in fiction, and one foot in the nonfictional history of London, England. Ian Roberts has woven a tale between the two so seamlessly that it's difficult to tell where the truth ends, and the author's imagination takes over.

The novel begins with the outline of true events that are the underlying main theme of the whole storyline. The fictional characters and their lives thread their way through the story as though they are part of the actual history of London. I particularly like that. The fiction seems as real as the nonfiction.

In real history, the first two decades of the twentieth century saw a great influx of immigrants to Britain from all over the world, but the greatest numbers were Jewish. Lacking a homeland of their own, they went to whatever country would accept them. The poorest of the poor ended up in the East End of London, along with other European immigrants.

This fictional narrative revolves around two families: the Jewish Burims from Poland, and the Catholic McLures from Ireland. Against all odds, they become close friends despite their widely differing cultures and political views. Political strife in Britain and abroad becomes a focus for them.

There's a prologue of sorts at the beginning that tells of two boys who find a skeleton buried on top of an older grave, in 1957. It's a mystery that will take the entire book to solve. The plot has so many twists and turns between fact and fiction, that the reader soon forgets about the skeleton. Near the end, there is an interesting eye opening moment that solves the mystery.

In 1936, Oswald Mosley tried to march his Fascist party members through the streets of London's East End. It failed miserably because the area's immigrant inhabitants stopped them. The fictional characters blend flawlessly into this true event." "If you're a history fan, you'll really enjoy this book. It goes into great detail about the political atmosphere of London England in the 1930's. I liked the fictional characters very much; better than the real politicians, in fact. Some of the political narrative became long winded, and frankly, a bit boring in the middle. Near the end, it got more interesting.

This novel was very well written and researched, but it had some editing issues and storyline problems that affected the way a polished novel should read. Also, politics is the least favourite of my chosen preferences for reading. Those who enjoy political scheming and subterfuge would probably rating than I did.

Disclaimer: There's some violence, but it isn't graphic. The political content would probably be beyond the interest of those under 13.

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