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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Devastation Road - Jason Hewitt

Devastation Road is the story of Owen, who wakes up in a field, wearing ill-fitting clothes, not knowing who or where he is. His initial thoughts are that he is somewhere in Hampshire and soon his father or brother will stumble across him lying there but it soon becomes clear that Owen is a long way from home.

As Owen begins to walk he stumbles across the wreckage of a train full of debris and bodies which only seems to fuel his hopelessness but luckily he meets a Czechoslovakian boy called Janek who gives him some food and they set out together. They soon stumble upon a young girl named Irena who is trying to give away her baby and she joins them. As they travel along they encounter refugees, soldiers and all the horrors of the war but they desperately try to stay together until they reach Liepzig where they've heard American soldiers are based.

This is a beautifully written book and the detailed descriptions are so vivid you can almost picture yourself there and whilst the atrocities of war are visible they are not revelled in. Owen's back story is dexterously revealed through snatches of memories he has throughout his journey and coupled with Janek's untranslated narrative it enabled me to feel more empathy for him as you could understand why he was so bewildered.

With kind thanks to the author Jason Hewitt for the review copy.

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