Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew
|Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Stacey Barkley|
|Summary: Brace yourself for one hell of a mess, and one hell of a struggle as the inhabitants of a Cedar Oklahoma come to take a stand on the newly passed anti-immigration Bill. Thought provoking and fast paced this one is a definite page-turner.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 417||Date: July 2013|
|Publisher: Atlantic Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Welcome to Cedar, Oklahoma, 2008. The big issue of the day is immigration and this town is at the centre of a political storm. Bill 1830 has just been passed creating havoc as the Mexican inhabitants are rounded up and driven out of town.
Meanwhile, at the centre of it all the Brown family is being torn apart in the impact of the very same bill. Bob Brown, steadfastly holding to his Christian values, has been arrested for harbouring ‘illegal aliens’. His orphaned grandson has gone missing, his granddaughter is harbouring her previously deported husband, and his daughter, Sweet, struggles to hold it all together amid a marriage that is rocked by a revelation of betrayal. As she struggles to reconcile her Christian ethics with a sense of lawfulness, there is an ongoing tension as Sweet finds no simple black and white andswer to the matter, but a host of blurred lines and grey areas only. We follow along as she navigates these grey areas and witness just how quickly events can spiral completely out of control.
Tackling an issue as heated as immigration risked the story descending into a tit-for-tat polemical take on things. Instead, Askew has managed something of a greater richness. Woven through the book are several narratives. From the self-concerned author of the Bill in question, Representative Monica Moorehouse, who is caught up in her life of political game play and tactics, to Luis, a Mexican man risking it all in search of his sons, we see the impact and divisive nature of the issue across the wide scope of society. In these multiple narratives Askew provides a much more nuanced look at the complexities of the issue at hand.
There is so much going on in this book. The lives within are messy and complicated; they feel altogether authentically real. And yet, Askew manages to interweave events seamlessly making for a smooth and fast-paced read. One cannot help but hold their breath with a growing sense of dread as events race ahead to culminate in one grand standoff between the town and the law.
In the end, Askew’s tale stands as a nod to the ties that bind, protect and see us through the hard times. This is a tale of standing up for one’s beliefs and persevering through, of ploughing on with hope that everything will turn out right in the end.
If this book appeals then you might also like to try We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.
You can read more book reviews or buy Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew at Amazon.com.
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