I read Brick by Conrad Jones back last year, and I’ve always been meaning to read other books by this author. So when I saw the author had a new book release The Journey I read the book description I knew it was one I had to read. Read on for my thoughts…….
The gripping story of a young boy and his family, driven from their home by war and indiscriminate violence. Like millions of others, they attempt the treacherous journey across their war-torn continent, trying to reach the safety of Europe.
The truth is, Europe doesn’t want them and thousands die every month at the hands of thieves and profiteering men to whom life is cheap. Kalu believes that he can lead his family to safety, he has planned for this. They have money, a plan and Kalu is, after all, the smartest man in Monguno.
The story is fast-paced, at times funny, at times heart-breaking but it will pull you along at 100 miles an hour. It will make you think, it will make you question your perceptions. Most of all it will make you ask, if your family was in peril, what would you do?
I am sat here flabbergasted after finishing The Journey, what a simply fabulous heart-breaking read this turned out to be, and what a talented and versatile author Conrad Jones is. I picked up The Journey and even after reading the book description I thought it would lean heavily towards being a crime thriller, but my god I was so wrong, It’s a story of Human resilience, and the incredible lengths people will go to protect their family. Although a fictional account of refugees, it never the less made for a haunting read and a very credible one at that.
The journey is a modern day tale of our times, and follows the harrowing story of ten year old Beb and his family who flee their village of Monuno after Boko Haram attack their village. Beb’s story is unfortunately a very credible one, it’s the reality that thousands of innocent people face every day. Conrad Jones describes scenes which are rich in detail, the suffering, the violence, the author doesn’t sugarcoat the atrocities carried out by Boko Haram, but neither does he use them for shock value.
The author has created a family whose characters engage you from the start, you can’t help but connect with Beb and his family and thanks to the incredible detailed descriptions you feel you are there alongside the family on their treacherous journey to reach Europe, you feel their desperation and uncertainty and their fear, you can’t help but urge this family on as they face the unknown. The Journey depicts the best and worse in human behaviour, it’s harrowing without a doubt, heartbreaking and yet amid the horrors there’s an underlying sense of hope for some. I’m sure this book and Beb will haunt me for weeks, so convincing was Conrad Jones’s writing. Highly recommended
Print Length: 196 pages
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (14 May 2018)