Today we have another amazing raffle prize, and this is especially exciting because it's probably one of the best books I've read this year.
The White City takes place in a post apocalyptic future. As it begins London has been frozen under thick ice and snow stemming from a freak summer snowstorm 23 years before and is just beginning to thaw. It's a novel that explores themes of immigration and the 'us versus them' mentality and the terrible dark depths that can lead society to. It falls into an emerging genre which would once have been called fantasy but it's now not very difficult to see how the world as we currently know it could get there.
The protagonist is Hera and the story is told by her in a series of flashbacks told as if she's writing letters to her former lover, as she looks down at the thawing water of London and charts how it all began for her. The focal point of the story is the day that her brother, Aslam is seized by police and taken away on what they are eventually told are terrorism charges. Hera's mother is pretty much hysterical as a result and her father is a devout Muslim and is extremely prone to shouting at people when things don't go his way, all of which combine to make him probably not the best person to get answers from the police in a situation such as the family finds themselves in.
The story follows the family through the early days after Aslam is arrested and on over the years. It's a brilliantly well written and well plotted story and reveals just enough at each step to keep you surprised and engrossed. It was also a really important story for me in terms of thinking about the way that our society treats immigrants and people who are perceived to be 'from somewhere else', as well as bringing awareness to the massive changes to our climate taking place in recent years.
It's a deep, thoughtful book which presents itself and indeed could be read as a fairly light, gripping, dystopian thriller but it is very much more than that. Absolutely fantastic, please do yourselves a favour and go buy a copy and read it immediately or (you know what I'm going to say, don't you?) get some raffle tickets!
Announcing another raffle prize! Gallic Books have very kindly donated this beautiful hardback of The White City to our raffle so head over and grab some raffle tickets and you could win yourself a bundle of bookish loveliness! All money raised goes to Give a Book, helping to fund literacy projects across the UK.