Hear the Echo

by Rob Gittins. 

This book is set in South Wales in two very different eras – during the 1930s and 1940s, and the present day.  It is based around the lives of two women, Chiara and Frankie, and follows their journey as they discover more about themselves and the consequences of decisions they have to make.

I loved this book and although it took sometime for the connection to grow with the character of Frankie, by the end of the story I felt like she was a firm friend and I wanted to make sure she was ok, and wanted to know that things would work out for her. The way Rob Gittins leaves it until the very end to weave the two stories together was a very clever technique, turning the book into a real page turner for me, as I came to like and care about the characters so much more.  Any questions that I had throughout the book were answered by the end and I loved the way two character’s lives mirrored each other in what appeared at first to be such a subtle way. 

We first meet Chiara when she is a young girl living in Italy, and follow her as she moves to Newport and progresses into adulthood, having to grow up very quickly and be thrown into an unfamiliar world.  Because of seeing her immediate vulnerability I found her character to be warm and somebody that I wanted to learn more about.  We meet Frankie in very different circumstances(!) however as her story continues it becomes clear that she is in fact very strong and her true positive qualities are soon discovered.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody that loves reading about different countries and past eras, and that loves a book with many twists and turns along the way.  There was never any point in the book where I correctly guessed what would happen.  Highly recommended, and if Rob Gittins were to write similar books to this I would be definitely putting them at the top of my reading list. 

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