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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah

The Last Brother - Nathacha Appanah
bookshelves: hardback, paper-read, one-penny-wonder, adventurous-april-2016, lit-richer, mauritius, madagascar, migrant-experience, wwii, jewish, spring-2016
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Wanda
Read from January 31 to March 30, 2016


Description: In the remote forests of Madagascar, young Raj is almost oblivious of the Second World War raging beyond his tiny exotic island. With only his mother for company while his father works as a prison guard, solitary ever since his brothers died years ago, Raj thinks only of making friends. One day, the far-away world comes to Madagascar, and Raj meets David, a Jew exiled from his home in Europe and imprisoned in the camp where Raj's father works. David becomes the friend that he has always longed for, a brother to replace those he has lost. Raj knows that he must help David to escape. As they flee through sub-tropical landscapes and devastating storms, the boys battle hunger and malaria - and forge a friendship only death can destroy. The Last Brother is a powerful, poetic novel that sheds new light on a little-explored aspect of 20th-century history.

Opening: I SAW DAVID AGAIN YESTERDAY. I WAS LYING IN bed, my mind a blank, my body light, there was just a faint pressure between my eye.

Uh-oh! First person alert. The beginning was contrived which took some stern resolve to wade through; from that moment on Raj was slotted into dodgy narrator pigeon-hole. A quick read that had its moments, yet not to be recommended.

Re the cover, as lovely as it is at first glance, the trees are blown from left to right, the flag right to left.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathacha Devi Pathareddy Appanah is a Mauritian-French author. She comes from a traditional Indian family. She spent most of her teenage years in Mauritius and also worked as a journalist/columnist at Le Mauricien and Week-End Scope before emigrating to France.
Le Mauricien