Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Liberation of Celia Kahn by J. David Simons

Review by The Mole

It's 1915 and Celia Kahn is a sixteen year old girl living in the Gorbals district of Glasgow. She is Jewish and lives is a small community and never comfortable if she steps outside her known circle and habits. And then a chance meeting with Agnes Calder in a sweet shop changes her life forever. We follow her life over the next years through various struggles and traumas.

I am not sure what I expected from this book but whatever it was, it wasn't what I got. I think I got a great deal more. It's a very powerful story and while there is much history thrown in, the focus remains entirely on Celia and her maturing personality, through turmoil and trauma and knowing what she wants to do, to make an impact on society, but having no idea how she might do it and that anything she tries to do seems to be not enough.

It's a rewarding story to read. Enjoyable is not the right word as some of what she encounters can bring enjoyment to no-one, however it is well worth reading and may leave you choosing something a little light hearted for your next book. But don't be put off! If you may be the weepy kind then grab a tissue and sit down and read, cry and rage and just occasionally, although only occasionally, smile as well.
Genre - Adult literary fiction

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