Publication Year: 2015
I have to admit that I am a big fan of Adele Geras' work. My Grandmother's Stories and Voyage are wonderful reads that prove diversity and 'issue' books can be just as entertaining as fantasy or adventure. Troy and Ithaka are superb YA novels that stay true to the essence and feel of the ancient world but still manage to be relevant to twenty first century readers.
I have yet to tackle her full length adult novels so Out of the Dark, a short novella in the QuickReads 2015 series, was a perfect introduction to this side of her work . It is the story of Rob Stone, a young Londonder who has it all: matinee idol looks, a gorgeous girlfriend and a job in a fashionable store where he is much admired by the ladies. World War I robs him of all these. He returns from the battlefields with a burnt face that has to be hidden behind a mask, a girlfriend who very quickly becomes an ex and no job. He does not come home alone. With him comes the ghost of his dead captain, whose Bible and family photograph, Rob has lifted from his pack.
As the young man tries to rebuild his life, and to track down the captain's family, he finds frequent refuge in the darkness of the cinema. I can't say much more without spoiling the ending but let me assure you that this if a first rate read. It's part ghost story, part historical drama. I highly recommended it.
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