Alan Gibbons is famous for his earlier novels Caught in the Crossfire and The Edge. Both books like this novel deal with mixed races and prejudices.
An Act of Love is about Chris and Imran who pledge to be blood brothers, but ten years on, racism has managed to shred their friendship. Terrorism has instilled doubt in their minds, changed their perception and forced them to into a battle that neither of them wants. As a reader, it made me hope that each of the main characters was perceptive enough to look through the war propaganda and terrorism and renew their friendship.
Gibbons is very profound in his coverage of the complexity of the situation in Afghanistan. The futility of war is very carefully worded in lines such as:
“War is inhuman, implacable, mischievous in its random choice of victim.”
“That’s the meaning of their history: scorched, twisted metal and burned, twisted people.”
This book reminds of Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. Both books are based in Afghanistan and expose us to what soldiers have to do in the name of war and the doubts they carry in their minds.
The book has enormous potential for debates around issues of terrorism and war.
review by Janice
image by hoodsie