Thursday, June 18, 2015

Traitor | Stephen Daisley

A truly beautiful book written in a stream of consciousness style, weaving back and forth between New Zealand and Gallipoli.

David Monroe was a farming lad from the North Island of New Zealand who signed up and went to war. The horror and humanity of war is described in broad strokes, beautiful in their simplicity and use of language to portray the anguish of what those young men went through.

Monroe returns to farm in the valley where he grew up. His mother and father are gone, many of his childhood friends have died and have left empty farms all around him. He lives his life haunted by the friendship he had with a Turkish doctor who is injured at the same time as him. They go through hospitalisation together and then they escape, trying to get Mahmoud back to his family. The consequences of these actions reverberate through the years up to the last scenes of Monroe's death.

The narrative jumps back and forth between the years of the war and the rest of Monroe's life. Carefully woven and not always explicit, the story is told in measured steps.

Moving and very beautiful

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