A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery
An impossible love story set against the backdrop of the Iraq war, A Brighter Fear will appeal to everyone who loved a gathering light.
This debut novel is the story of Lina, a teenage girl from Baghdad, and it starts as the bombs fall in 2003. It is a love story: for a country, and for a person too. There is an object that is lost, but may yet be found again.
We can’t say much more without giving away what happens in this
beautiful, contemporary fairytale. Suffice it to say that it will break your heart… but then will put it back together again.
A beautiful novel from a new literary star. (Source: GoodReads, although I disagree with the fact that it’s called a love story.)
A Brighter Fear is a story of love, life, fear and hope. I did enjoy it, although it made me terribly angry at war, and how it effects innocent people, like Lina’s mother and father. After finishing it, I just wanted to sit down and cry, for how completely and utterly unfair everything is; and how people can’t see that war is not the answer.
Lina was a truly brave girl, going through losing her family and having to move into a new one – and then having to give up all the money her father had saved to rescue her uncle. Not only that, but Steve left, she wasn’t allowed to continue her education, and she couldn’t even practise her faith.
On the subject of Steve, I did feel that their romance was hyped up on the blurb, and in the front cover, as it was a bit of a whirlwind, and nothing really came of it. Lina even got rid of her contact to him, so she couldn’t find him again. I understand that she hadn’t had much of a chance at romance before, but I didn’t think it was written very well.
Not mentioned above is Lina’s friendship with Layla, who was a Muslim and, effectively, scared of Lina. She stops contacting her, until one Christmas, when she comes over and gives her a present. Their friendship really heightens the fact that these are two teenage girls, scared for their lives because they are friends, and I think that Drewery really portrayed this well. I loved their friendship – they really loved each other, which made it all the more better.
Overall, I would give this 4 stars. There were aspects I liked, such as Lina and Layla’s friendship, but other ones I didn’t so much, such as Lina and Steve’s relationship – I feel that it could have just stayed as friendship, as it felt that the writer was trying to hard. However, a very good read, and I still recommend it!