Duthac Books £7.99 (243pp) £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Wrongs Hushed Up, By Hamish Ross
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Friday 30 March 2012
These nine stories are a surprise. Ostensibly about conflict, and those caught up in the business of war, they come at their subject sideways, not from an explosive, terrorised frontline, but from the quieter voices of child civilians, an accidental spy, a former wren at a commemoration ceremony.
Hamish Ross, who has previously written a biography of SAS commander, Lt Col Blair 'Paddy' Mayne, chooses to focus on family struggles, frienships, loves and betrayals, from a boy's guilty desire for a mysterious woman (and spy) who befriends him in the touching opening story, "A Week in July", to a letter written by a "conchie" to his son which lists his reasons for refusing to fight but which also reveals a murderous confession.
Simple, evocative writing that tells quietly powerful stories.
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