Today I’m hosting a guest review for The Journey by Conrad Jones, which I will be sharing with you all a little further down!
About the author:
Conrad Jones is a 50-year-old Author, originally from a sleepy green-belt called Tarbock Green, which is situated on the outskirts of Liverpool. He spent a number of years living in Holyhead, Anglesey, which he classes as his home. He worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working his way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.
On March 20th 1993 he was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day he was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. He began to read anything crime related that he could get his hands on and links this experience with the desire to write books on the subject.
He signed a three book deal with London based publishers, Thames River Press. The Alec Ramsey series is now 7 books long with an average of 4.8 stars from over 2000 reviews. Conrad has also written The Soft Target series, which has received critical acclaim.
About the book:
One of the best books you will read this year..Outstanding!
I have read many Conrad Jones books…for me this is his masterpiece… A stunning story…
This is Conrad Jones at his best… An outstanding well written story…
An emotional rollercoaster. Unputdownable
This is nothing like anything Conrad has written before. However it’s equally as excellent, if not better, as all his other books.
What an amazing story, my heart was in my mouth all the way through, the literary world is all the richer because of you Mr Jones I salute you sir
Sad, moving, emotional, at times uplifting….a horrible reflection of the cruelty of this world. But a story that needed to be told and must be read. Highly recommended
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?
This isn’t the kind of book I usually read; in fact I tend to be rather xenophobic in my reading so a story based in Africa would usually have passed me by. But I started to read it and I am so glad I did!
We have all seen the TV news with their films of hundreds of people trying to cross the sea to get to Europe. The boats are usually old, decrepit and filled to bursting with the numbers of passengers on board. We are appalled at the scale of human tragedy pictured in these news clips and then we go back to our day-to-day living and forget them. I defy you to be able to forget them once you have read this book!
Kalu is a doctor, working in his home village of Monguno in Nigeria. He has a wife and three daughters and one son, Beb. Kalu is an intelligent man who has been concerned about the rise in the numbers of attacks in the area by the terrorist group Boko Haram. He secretly prepares for an attack on his village by hiding rucksacks, food, money and other provisions in his medical practise. He also hides an off-road vehicle in a shed a couple of miles away, loaded with water and petrol ready for any journey they may need to take.
His foresight pays off when Boko Haram arrive at their village and the family make their escape and set off for the north, to find a way to get to Europe. The journey is horrific – there is no other way to describe it and you need to read the book in order to understand this. I can only comment on how it made me feel to read about their trials and tribulations along the way.
There is a lot of violence in the book but no more than was necessary to describe what that journey was like. It was horrendous to read what these terrorists were capable of doing and also horrendous to read what depths humanity can sink to when people are trying to escape from certain, and often extremely painful, death. Morals are the first thing to go out of the window, even amongst those who are all running away from the same problems and Kalu suffers greatly with his conscience when he has to put humanity aside in order to keep his family safe. There were a number of times when I had to stop reading because I had reached overload level on the number of dreadful things that can happen on such a journey and in such circumstances, but I was always drawn back to finish reading it because I so wanted the whole family to come through and get to the England they dreamed of. You will need to read the book to find out if they succeeded.
But the major eye-opener in the book is that there are still people about who will risk their own lives in order to help other people. Admittedly, they are few and far between, but it is heart-warming to read about the work they do and so depressing to find out that they are murdered or injured when they have helped others. I have never read a book before where I have had to stop reading because I couldn’t cope with the emotions the book engendered in me but the author writes so powerfully that I HAD to finish it. I feel drained but I am glad that I read it. I would recommend you all try it too.
5 Stars *****
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