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Someone Else's Conflict

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  24 reviews
The boy looks up and sees the foreigner's rifle aimed at him. Why is this man here? This is not his conflict, it is not the boy's... it is hell.

Jay has been home for a long time, but the ghosts of Yugoslavia
are still with him as he busks his way round the country.

Marilyn is fresh out of a controlling relationship and desperate
to reassert her independence. The last thing sh
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2014 by Honno
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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ReadAlongWithSue [Catching-Up]

I was contacted by Honno Publishers to see if I would like to read any of their books after making contact with this author Alison Layland. One of the books they sent me for me to agree reading was this one.

I love reading new authors that are up and coming, I never know what I am open to. Just sometimes you read a book that stands out. THIS one did.

In all honesty, I love a book that has a lot of chatting in it and not so much narration, that's just my personal choice, however, I must say this, a
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This was a book that constantly surprised me. At one point, I thought it was going to be a relatively straightforward tale about two damaged people finding love in the Yorkshire Dales. Jay is an itinerant storyteller with a complicated past, Marilyn emerging from a toxic relationship and living in an isolated cottage: she accepts his help in repairing her barn after a storm, and it turns into love. There's a lovely sequence near the start of the book where Jay weaves elements into his stories th ...more
S.D. Sykes
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Someone Else's Conflict is one of those rare novels that eschews easy categorisation - which is why it really appealed to me! It is a political thriller, a love story, and a mystery. The action flips between the Balkans war in the early 1990s, and current day in Yorkshire. Jay is Croatian, but he's lived for many years in England, making his living as itinerant storyteller. He finds it hard to settle, as the ghosts of the war in Yugoslavia still haunt him. When he meets Marilyn, a woman trying t ...more
Martine Bailey
Someone Else’s Conflict is a gripping crime debut from accomplished new writer Alison Leyland. Set in contemporary Britain, with superbly dramatic flashbacks to life in 1990s Croatia, the narrative is handled with verve and bravura. The novel opens during the Yugoslav conflict, as we meet lovable but troubled ex-freedom fighter Jay, a man striving to forget his past in an itinerant life as a busker and storyteller. Jay’s mysterious tales are both attempts to communicate his troubles and also to ...more
Louisa Treger
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novel seized me right from the opening: a shockingly vivid description of the Balkans war told from the viewpoint of a young boy unwittingly caught in the conflict. The narrative is complex and well-constructed: part thriller, part love story. It is set in the Yorkshire dales and interspersed with flashbacks to the war in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The romance between itinerant busker Jay, who is unable to come to terms with the horrors of the Balkans conflict, and warm-hearted potter, ...more
Sarah Jasmon
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Someone Else's Conflict opens with a powerful, immediate prologue from the viewpoint of a young boy. He is Serbian, and caught out in the wrong place as Croatian forces come to take his village. Crouching out of sight, he watches his family being rounded up, unable to help, before stumbling into the path of one of the fighters. The man doesn't kill him, though, instead gesturing towards escape from the horror. The main story, however, unfolds in present day England, and it is the Croatian charac ...more
Whispering Stories
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Someone Else’s Conflict", is a gripping and powerful début novel, written by Alison Layland.

The story begins with the prologue of a young boy in war-torn Yugoslavia. He witnesses the execution of his father at the hands of soldiers that are rampaging his village.

Trying to flee, he comes face-to-face with one of the soldiers. Instead of shooting him, the soldier tells him to run, and ‘The Boy’ runs.

The prologue is central to the whole story. ‘The Boy’ is an integral part of the book. Once you fi
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
What an engaging storyline and wonderful characters I met between the pages of this exceptional, scintillating novel.

It's tip top quality romantic fiction but is SO much more than chicklit or a love story. Set mainly in the Yorkshire Dales, a setting I found instantly familiar, together with occasional trips back in time to a period of war and unrest in former Yugoslavia (a setting I also found a touch familiar as I visited there on holiday, at a very tense time just a week before the civil war
Suze Lavender
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jay is leading a nomadic life. He owns a house, but he isn't staying there. He's trying to come to terms with his past, but it keeps haunting him. He's fought in Yugoslavia, for friends. Something traumatic happened and Jay has never been able to get over it. Jay has his flute and he tells stories to make money. When he meets Marilyn he offers to help her with her house after a terrible storm. Even though she doesn't need to she offers him the guest room and some food and clean clothes. A friend ...more
Rosie Amber
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Someone Else's Conflict is contemporary read set in the English Dales. Jay Spinney is a street entertainer, a man whose past means he's unable to settle in one place, he's constantly on the move.

Marilyn stops in the market place to listen to the entertainer and has her purse stolen by a desperate young man. Vinko is an illegal immigrant who yearns for a place to belong. He knows his Grandparents live in the area, but will they ever accept him if he can pluck up the courage to visit them?

A huge s
Anne Goodwin
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: debut-novelists
Someone Else’s Conflict is a novel about attachment: both the negative consequences of territorialism and the fragility of human relationships when trust is at a premium. Moving between the Yorkshire Dales and the former Yugoslavia, the theme is enacted by the three main characters: Jay, an itinerant storyteller haunted by his part in the civil war; Marilyn, a potter, desperate to assert her independence after leaving a controlling relationship; and Vinko, a feral teenager who has grown up in ex ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alison Layland has published several fiction novels. Raised in Newark, she now resides in Wales, England with her family.
'Someone Else's Conflict' is her debut novel and although this is the first time reading her work, I was not disappointed.

The main characters Marilyn and Jay both come from two very different lifestyles. Jay is a handsome unassuming guy, a foreigner from Yugoslavia whom back packs his way into her world. He is an ex-freedom fighter who relives those dark days over and over aga
Cristel Orrand
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
While the description will give you the basic outline of the story, it will in no way prepare you for the surprises the book has in store as Layland dives head first into the sticky situations life is made of.

“Someone Else’s Conflict” deals with betrayal and loyalty, in every sense, from familial expectations to a soldier’s duty, the unconditional love of family and the casualties of war. She explores the hurt and healing in every day settings, with apparent but profound symbolism, from what Mar
Fleur Smithwick
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Alison Layland's writing is beautiful and she knows how to tell a page-turning story and create memorable characters. It's exciting, romantic and fascinating; a love story and a thriller. Jay has a past from which he cannot escape and not much of a future, living an itinerant life on the streets as a busker and story-teller. He meets Marilyn just when that past is catching up with him, threatening to derail what little he has of a life. He can't run away anymore becau ...more
Christina Banach
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Someone Else’s Conflict is a skillfully woven story whose complex narrative is seamlessly stitched together. From its powerful opening pages this tale is filled with subtle tension and intrigue and is ultimately haunting. Although the book deals with the brutality of war and its reverberating effects it is also a tender love story, a subtle thriller and an intelligent commentary on human nature. The characters are wonderfully drawn and wholly engaging - I defy anyone not to fall a little in love ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
First of all I want to thanks to Alison Layland and GoodReads for the Giveaway price. You made not just my day, but my whole month (or two).

This book has pretty much everything in it – there's love, betrayal, family drama, mystery, crime… Even a war. The war through the eyes of a man, who saw it, lived through it and survived it. With all the consequences. Haunted by his daemons.
It's all very emotional, very dramatic. It's not only a crime novel or not even a social one. It's existential. And a
Louise Beech
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow - Someone Else’s Conflict is just beautiful. I loved storyteller, Jay, who finds his truest audience in Marilyn. Their relationship is so real and gently builds - perfect. Alison Layland also weaves stories, those of the Croatian War into current Yorkshire, trickling the horrors of war into a cosy setting. The contrast is perfect. The effects of such horrors linger long after, and telling stories/fictionalising is a way of coping, something I've always believed. Don't miss this one - it's go ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This book has a great opening, and then leads the reader through a string of initially seemingly unconnected threads, cleverly drawing them together in an exciting ending, whilst at the same time reflecting on the impact that war has on communities, families and individuals. Contemporary England and the recent past of Yugoslavia draw people together in a very thought-provoking read.
Linda Hill
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A no spoilers review and Q+A with the author here ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jay has returned home to England after fighting in a war which wasn’t his with his friend Ivan whose homeland was under threat. Alison Layland perfectly captures the personal, individuals experience of the horrors of war where innocent people die. Jay is besieged by nightmares of the young lad he wanted to save but who was killed just as Jay was lowering his own rifle after seeing into the young boy’s eyes and finding he couldn’t go on with killing indiscriminately. Knowing he is returning to En ...more
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, 2015
As a young man, Jay Spinney travelled to Croatia and got caught up in the war there, fighting with a Croatian unit attacking Serbian villagers. Years later, he is back in England living rough, working as a busking story-teller. In a small market village he meets Marilyn, a potter who needs his help rebuilding her house. While he is there, Jay's past starts to catch up with him, in the forms of a young man who claims to be the son of Jay's Croatian friend, and a war criminal who bears a grudge ag ...more
Zuzu Burford
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Worth 3.5. I suffered from the hype and expected more. I did enjoy the story as an easy read.
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UK Book Club: Can you help? 1 17 Feb 20, 2015 11:35PM  
UK Book Club: Giveaway - Someone Else's Conflict 1 5 Feb 10, 2015 01:47PM  

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I am a writer and translator, and have told myself stories for as long as I can remember.
Raised in Newark and Bradford, and having lived in various places around the UK, I now live in the bordelands between Wales and Shropshire.
Someone Else's Conflict, my debut novel, was featured as a Debut of the Month for January on the Lovereading site My second nove

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