Title: Chains of Sand
Author: Jemma Wayne
Page Count/Review Word Count: 336
Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.
This book was pretty interesting, a literary fiction piece that shows the difference between London and Gaza, and the different lives that their inhabitants have. As if jumping from London to Gaza isn’t confusing enough, it also jumps backwards and forwards through time, but don’t let that put you off – it’s well-worth reading, even if it does leave you feeling like you need to re-read it to appreciate what actually happens.
And it really isn’t an easy read – it felt like it was taking me longer to read than it should do, although I did still blitz through it over a weekend. But that’s because there are so many layers to it, and you sometimes need to stop and think, because it’s the type of book that makes you do that.
As for the story line, it mainly focuses on two characters. First up, we have Udi, a 26-year-old Veteran of the Israeli army. Udi is the same age as I am and he’s already killed five men, and he wants to start a new life on London. Then there’s Daniel, a 29-year-old Londoner. Daniel is a Jewish investment banker who seems to have everything, but who still wants something more – in this case, he wants to move to Israel. Oh, and his family thinks that he’s crazy.
If you wanted to categorise this, you’d call it a piece of literary fiction. It’s more than that, though – it’s a strong exploration of the world that we live in, and one which makes you think. It’s rare for a contemporary book to do that – these days, in a culture which prefers instant gratification, it’s unusual for someone to take such an evocative approach to showing where things are wrong, and where we should fix it. It makes you think.