Krista the Krazy Kataloguer's Reviews > The Last Brother

The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah
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Apr 08, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: read-adult-fiction, 52-countries-in-2012, read-historical-fiction, read-holocaust
Read in June, 2012

First of all, I enjoyed the unusual setting of this novel--Mauritius. I knew it was an island off the coast of Africa, but not much else. Found out it was the home of the now extinct dodo! Much of this story takes place in the northern section of the island. Though the book is adult, the story is told from the point of view of Raj, a young boy, or, I should say, Raj as an old man looking back on that time. The story is set in 1944, and is based on a true event concerning Jews who were interned on the island. After Raj's brothers die in a terrible flash flood, his father gets a job as a guard at the camp where the Jews are being held. There Raj befriends a Jewish boy, David, and even helps him escape. The story takes on a rather surreal quality here. Raj knows nothing about World War II or the Holocaust, so he has no idea of the danger he and David are in as they play in the jungle, while the reader is holding his breath, knowing it can't end well but hoping somehow that it will. Appanah, a journalist who was born on Mauritius, toward the end provides information on what happened to the real shipload of Jews brought to the island. I would like to explore the facts more, and wish she had provided a list of her sources. I enjoyed the way she writes, and would like to read more of her books. Recommended!
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04/08 marked as: read

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