#BlogTour #Review : Line by Niall Bourke. @supersplurk @tramppress @RandomTTours

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Line. Many thanks to Random Things Tours and Tramp Press for having me on the tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.

The Book:

No one hast ever left the Line, nor shalt thou. To do so
wouldst dishonour the sacrifices of all those gone

No one hast ever left the Line, nor shalt thou. To do so
wouldst mean thy family must pay your penance.
Thou mayst leave thy place in the Line but only once –
when thou dost marry.

But thou can only move down the Line, never up. For
that is how thou will know it is true love.
And because moving up would be skipping.
And that is the most important rule of all.

Thou Shalt Not Skip The Line.
Thou Shalt Not Skip The Line

Willard, his mother and his girlfriend Nyla have spent their entire lives in an endless procession, where daily survival is dictated by the ultimate imperative: obey the rules, or lose your place in the Line. Everything changes the day Willard’s mother dies and he finds a book hidden among her few belongings.

The Review: This is an unusual book that I’m not sure how to describe. There’s a lot that is different from our world as it is now, but at the same time a lot that is similar or could be close to the same if a few things changed. We meet Willard, Nyla, Willard’s mother and Mr Hummel who are all in the Line, Mr Hummel and Willard’s mother have been since before Willard was born. The Line is all Willard has ever known and the punishment for leaving it is death, because leaving the Line is seen as cheating, a betrayal to those behind you. No one in the line seems to know its history, it’s never discussed it just exists and they hope one day to reach where they are going, but no one explains where that is. However, as the blurb says, Willard’s mother dies and this changes everything.

I had so many questions reading this book, why does the line exist, why does everyone stay in it, to mention just a few. The Line has existed for so long that some people, like Willard, have been born and grown up knowing nothing else. Parents and grandparents were in the Line, spending days waiting for it to move and hoping to reach the end point. My questions were answered, just to confirm, and the answers were almost as bad. I’m not going to mention any more about the answers because doing so is tricky without giving anything away. What I would say though, is that it showed that sometimes having little is better than having a lot.

This is definitely a book that makes you think. It made me question what I would do if I was in those circumstances, would I make the same decisions or not. Do we make decisions hoping for a better outcome, or do we make them because we don’t want to be the same as everyone else. Is doing the same as everyone else a bad thing, or not? Even with the explanations in the book I still don’t know what I would do because I’ve never been in this type of situation.

There are so many hidden layers to this book. It’s written in a way that makes the story appear quite a simple one, people are in the Line and when it moves so do they, and they follow the rules that apply. But there’s so much more to it than that and that is revealed slowly as the story progresses. There is so much in this story that you can apply to your own life and circumstances and I’ve found myself doing just that, and still doing it now. I felt it made me think about my own position in life from a different perspective than I have done before. I’ve considered it from a similar position but the depth in this story adds another perspective, another layer, to what I’ve thought of previously.

I’m still not sure how to describe this book. In some ways it’s a warning of how things could be, in some ways it’s a story of how things already are for many people. In other ways it’s a more simple story of a man who makes a decision, but then it’s also a story that just makes you think. What if I do this? Where will this road take me? Why am I making this decision? What do I want for myself? Definitely a book to read if you want something to make you consider where you are now and why.

The Author:

Niall Bourke is a writer and a teacher. His work has been published widely in magazines and journals in Ireland and the UK, and his poems and stories have been short-listed for numerous awards, including the Costa Short Story Award and the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. He lives in South London with his partner, his daughter and his cat.

2 thoughts on “#BlogTour #Review : Line by Niall Bourke. @supersplurk @tramppress @RandomTTours

  1. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up #WeekinReading / Books Teacup and Reviews

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