Creating a story which is totally engaging, wise and funny, Boyce has Liverpool schoolgirl Julie making friends with two Mongolian brothers newly arrived at her school. Chingis and Nergui conscript Julie to be their Good Guide, a role which she accepts eagerly so that she can be included in the aura of exotic mystique which surrounds the brothers.
The story is recounted by a much older Julie, whose memories come flooding back when she comes across the coat which had belonged to Chingis. I thought both the older and younger Julie had very convincing voices, and I was quickly drawn into the mystery of the brothers. It was no surprise to read in Frank’s afterword that the inspiration for this book had its roots in a true story.
Although it exposes an all too familiar contemporary issue, I think it is a rare writer who could have handled it with such a subtle touch.
Review by Pamela
image by AaverageJoe