Apr 23, 2015

Book Review: In Love and War by Lesley Lokko

Nothing fazes Lexi Sturgis. She's faced bullets, battles and bitter rivals to chase news stories other reporters would kill for. Living for risk and adventure, she abides by one rule: don't let anyone get too close.

Jane Marshall is feeling desperate. Her family is in disarray and her once high-flying TV career is sinking. She needs a big scoop, fast - and it seems Lexi might be the one to help.

For dedicated medical student Deena, the horrors of a war-torn Egypt are too shocking to ignore. She travels across the world to offer help, leaving her younger sister shattered with worry.

In a journey fraught with danger, secrets and uncertainty, these women are thrown together in an extraordinary struggle. Can they overcome the pains of their pasts and find the courage to trust each other?

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Lexi is fearless, she's a war reporter and she goes wherever the story is. That means she constantly puts herself in danger. She's taking risks and often has to run for her life. She's brave, but also closed off. She isn't letting anyone in, it's safer that way. Until she meets someone who might have a chance. Lexi has one good friend, Jane. Jane is her boss who's desperate to be loved. She needs company and every time she tries to find someone things are going completely wrong. She needs a big idea, she needs it fast and Lexi is the one who's going to make it happen for her. Only what will be the price?

Deena is a medical student who has many secrets. She's found a job as MSF doctor and travels to Egypt to help the wounded. She wants to be where the action is, to save lives. Her sister Ines doesn't want her to go, but she can't convince her sister to stay safe. Deena in danger there and that is when Ines has to face the facts. Her family has kept many secrets from her, things she knew absolutely nothing about, and her sister is very much a part of it.

There is a moment when the paths of Lexi and Deena are going to cross. The inevitable has to happen and I wanted to find out more, I felt like I had to understand the situation. In Love and War is a thrilling read, a book filled with puzzles and questions. If you want everything answered this is not a novel you should pick up. I love it when there's room for me to fill in gaps and when my mind has to work hard to connect all the threads.

There are so many story lines and this isn't an easy read. The story is complex and at first there are people whose stories have nothing in common, but that has to change at some point. There's nothing predictable about this story, so I often wondered what was going to happen next and couldn't wait to find out. The ending is unique and it's fitting as this book is so unusual. It's a novel you have to work for and the result is very rewarding. 

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