Book Review: The Report

The Report

Jessica Francis Kane

Graywolf Press

256 pages

The year is 1943 and England is in the throes of WWII.  The residents of Bethnal Green are rushing to the nearest bomb shelter when tragedy strikes; at the entrance, a mob scene results in the death of 173 people.  The sadly ironic part is that the retaliatory bombs that were expected that night from the Germans never came.

Laurence Dunne was contracted by the government to investigate the disaster.  People are anxious for answers, and many of them are mourning the deaths of family and friends.  Tilly, one of the central characters of the book, is a young girl both mourning the death of her small sister as well as trying to come to grips with what happened that night.  She becomes a central focus of the investigation and Laurie Dunne’s probe into what happened that night.

I admit, the only reason I read this book is because it was highly recommended by other book bloggers.  Otherwise, I likely wouldn’t have given it any consideration.  What I enjoyed the most about The Report was how it portrayed a little known historical tragedy and interlaced it with human emotion.  I appreciated what Kane was trying to do, and I became very invested in Dunne’s investigation and his final report.  One would think that an investigative report would be cut and dry; you search out the facts and present them as the truth.  What Dunne discovered was there were so many aspects to what happened that night, and perhaps the truth would only cause more heartbreak and sorrow.

The reputation of The Report is well deserved.  It is a tightly woven historical novel that is engrossing from beginning to end.

Other Reviews:

Devourer of Books

Farm Lane Books Blog

Erin Reads

Diary of an Eccentric

I purchased this book for my Kindle.

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6 Responses

  1. I have this one waiting on the shelves, so I’m excited to hear that it’s worth a read!

  2. It is great to see that you enjoyed this one too. I loved the way it showed our desire to blame someone everytime something goes wrong and wish we could do something to stop that.

  3. I’ve read a few other good reviews of this book recently and I’m looking forward to reading it myself. I’ve heard about the Bethnal Green disaster before but have never read a book about it. I’m glad you thought it was good!

  4. You have piqued my curiosity. I will put this on my wishlist.

  5. I liked this book a lot, too. (My review is here if you’re interested.) I never would have read it had my husband not spotted it in the lobby of our library. I liked that there was so many layers to the story, that it was just a black and white, easily solved matter.

    I hope it’s okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

    • Thanks for linking to my review–I added a link to yours. I love when my husband tries to choose books for me; sometimes he picks a winner but other times . . . not so much!

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