Wednesday 25 September 2019

Book Review ~ Breakfast in Bogotá by Helen Young

August 2019

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book 

and also for the delicious Fortnum and Mason Chocolate

Bogota, 1947. British architect Luke Vosey has left his past behind to undertake a commission for Anglo-Colombian Oil in South America. For Luke, this new venture seems to offer the chance to start again. But grieving and ashamed of his role in the war, he cannot run from the past or from his nightmares.

Luke finds distraction with the whores of Las Cruces and in the friendship of a young newspaper journalist - and finally with Felisa, a young draughtswoman with a passion for politics. Through her, Luke comes to understand the true broken mood of the people of Colombia, with the country teetering on the brink of civil war. Then a bloody assassination on the streets of the capital sees everything he's worked for destroyed.

As the mob tears the city to shreds, and Luke's past is unveiled, can he survive to save others?

What did I think about it..

In 1947 Luke Vosey is a British architect who has started a new venture for Anglo-Colombian Oil in South America, based in Bogotá. It's an opportunity for Luke to start again after the events of the Second World War but his connection and memories of the past are about to threaten the stability of his future. 

Luke discovers that his time in Bogotá is made all the more complicated by the relationships he makes, particularity with the prostitutes of Las Cruces, and one in particular who reminds him of Catherine, a woman he once loved. His interaction with Felisa, a young draughts-woman, and also with Camilo who is a journalist involved in the political mainstream, adds another interesting dimension to what is, after all, quite a complicated look at this troubled time in Latin-American history.

The author writes well, with a genuine passion for story-telling, bringing to life the political and social turmoil of an unsettled time, after all Columbia was on the brink of Civil War, and so her descriptions of time, and place, have a nice authenticity to them. 

Overall, Breakfast in Bogotá is an interesting story about an unsettled time in the country's Latin-American history, which is delivered with skill and fine attention to detail.

Helen is an author and digital editor. Her debut, The May Queen, was published in 2016. Good Housekeeping termed it an 'unsettling, coming-of-age tale.' Stylist called her 'One to watch.' She is obsessed with questions of identity and geography – namely, the versions of ourselves we carry with us. Breakfast In Bogota is her second novel.

Twitter @helenireneyoung #BreakfastInBogota

@unbounders @Unbound_Digital


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