Saturday, 28 May 2016

Supporting the Library - Book Review: The Road to Rangoon - Lucy Cruikshanks

SynopsisIn 1980s Burma, the British ambassador’s son goes missing.

Discovering himself in the north of the country, Michael Atwood is in imminent danger, trapped between sides fighting a bitter civil war and with no way back to Rangoon. His best hope of salvation is to trust Thuza, a ruby smuggler who offers to help him escape.

Beautiful and deeply scarred, Thuza has spent her entire life in a frontier town between rebel and government forces, never choosing a side but trying to make a living from both. For Thuza, the ambassador’s son is her ticket out of poverty. For Than, an ambitious military officer, exploiting those caught in the war offers an opportunity for promotion and distinction.

But as all three learn to their cost, in this enigmatic and savage country, everyone has a price. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review - My knowledge of Burmese history isn't great so I found this book quite interesting learning about this country.  The Tatmadaw basically have the run of the land and the rebels fight to oppose them.  Amongst them is the British Embassy who appear to be doing little.  A tale of corruption, deceit, oppression and hardship the reader is on the side of Thuza whose start in life hasn't been easy.  On betraying her parents and brother she is raped and tortured by the Tatmadaw. She is taken in by a monk who nurses her until she is well enough to return to her home where she cares for her grandmother.  Left pretty much to her own devices she makes a living by smuggling precious jewels.  She regularly checks in with the monk who leads her to believe that her parents are alive in jail.   Alongside, Thuza's story we meet Michael, the son of the Ambassador who frequents a local joint where all sorts meet.  Michael's good friend is injured when a bomb goes off at this place.  He finally finds his friend is alive in hospital and decides to get out of the city, journeying with the owner of the bar.  The journey doesn't lead him quite where he intended and his path crosses with Thuza's.  What I did like about this story was that when these two met we weren't fobbed off with the all to easy 'happy ever after'.  Both parties don't trust easily and have their own agendas.  Where does Thuza's journey take her, if at all?  Does Michael go home or back to his father?  Who betrays who?  Full of intrigue and suspense.   3*

Published by Heron Books
ISBN: 13 978-1782063476

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