Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’



** my thanks to the author for my copy of this book **



A boy goes missing during a workers’ strike in 1980s Communist Poland. A journalist in Warsaw is looking for her brother, who’s been missing for twenty years. A London financier is struggling with panic attacks. In Chicago, an old man is dying in a nursing home.

What connects them? As the mystery unravels, the protagonists’ worlds are turned upside down.

My Thoughts & Review:

The Walls Came Down is a book that I found almost impossible to put down once I started reading, the characters and the plot became so very real to me and I found that I desperately didn’t want to part with them, not even to refresh the cuppa that had been forgotten about and gone cold.

Following the stories of three people, Joanna a journalist in Poland, Matty a financier in England and Tom, a old man dying in America, the reader is taken on an emotional journey that tugs at the heartstrings.
The book opens in 1988 in Warsaw at a strike march in Communist Poland, and we meet a mother and her two children who plan to watch the events of the strike, like many in the crowd they are there to see what happens, there are flags and banners everywhere and the buzz of excitement is rife in the air.  Unfortunately for that family, one of the children goes missing, young Adam disappears without a trace that day and his family are bereft.
The little girl never gives up on her brother, and continues her search for twenty years.

Meanwhile, an elderly man in America reflects upon his life, the decisions he’s made and the paths he’s taken after finding out that he is dying.  His move to a nursing home prompts friendships and conversations that he might never have imagined but ultimately he is glad of them, for they are the catalyst for change and ultimately closure.
In England, Matty struggles with his anxiety, and feels that he needs to break away from things, taking a weekend break with his girlfriend ends up throwing him into a vortex of confusion and conflicting emotion, leaving him questioning everything.

Initially I wondered where this book would end up, and I don’t think that it’s any surprise once you start reading that you may well guess what lies ahead.  However, for this book, it’s the journey that the reader takes that’s important.  The characters here are so rich and beautifully crafted that you cannot help but become invested in them, their plights become so real and tangible.  I began to share Joanna’s anguish, her desperation and felt so much sympathy for her.  Matty was another character that I felt my heart going out to in sympathy, his confusion and anxieties were so well written that I really was swept away with them.  And Tom, the more I learned about him the more I understood his actions and whilst I perhaps didn’t agree with decisions he had taken over the course of his life, I could see why he took the path he did, and it was clear from the emotions that this character experienced that his decisions haunted him.

I found that this was a very moving read, there were moments whilst reading this my heart was racing because of revelations, there were moments I felt a lump in my throat, I wanted to shout at characters, I wanted to shake characters, such an emotive and thought inspiring book.

I would highly recommend this, it’s one of those undiscovered gems that needs to be shared and appreciated!

You can buy a copy of The Walls Came Down via Amazon UK



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