Monday 6 March 2017

Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson


has been AWARDED


Chill with a Book READERS’ Award

It is 1965 and the air is light with the idea of freedom, love and the Beatles, but eighteen year old Jess, a feisty young woman with ideas of her own, is feeling stifled by her puritanical religious family background in working class England.

Keen to escape her mother’s narrow-minded Rulebook and rigid plans for her life, and her silent, strangely disturbing father, she plans to defer her university study and instead escape her past to flee to Ghana, West Africa, for a gap year, teaching and nursing in the jungle. 

Her parents cannot understand Jess’s wish to leave behind her comfortable life in England and her perfect Quaker boyfriend, Simon. 

In the 60s, Africa means darkness and danger to most people, not least her family, but to Jess it conjures up a picture of exotic adventure and freedom. 

Little does she realise what this year will, in fact, bring: joys, horrors, love and tragedy. 

As she struggles to comprehend the abject poverty and hopelessness of the people of Ghana, Jess begins to find herself and think about what she really wants in life. 

She must find her way on her own and learn what fate has in store for her, as she becomes embroiled in the turmoil of the small war-torn African nation under a controversial and harsh dictatorship. 

When she meets Jim, a handsome, friendly yet mysterious US soldier, Jess must face the dangers of both civil war and unexpected romance. 

Where does she truly belong and can she escape her troubled past? 

And why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?

‘Drumbeats’ is the first part of a touching trilogy about finding yourself, falling in love and learning life’s harsh lessons. 

Drumbeats was read and evaluated by Chill's readers against a five point criteria

1.       Were the characters strong and engaging?
2.       Was the book well written?
3.       Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?
4.       Was the ending satisfying?
5.       Would you tell your friends?

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