If It Falls

by Naomi Young

I quickly became hooked on this novel set in the oppressive heat of Guatemala, a country in conflict where danger lurks around every corner and you can’t be sure who to trust. When I first encountered Raphael, the main character, he reminded me of Quoyle from The Shipping News, both very sad characters going through the motions of life rather than living it. I craved for Raphael to put the past behind him and find some kind of peace.


Raphael awoke in the darkness, sweating and gasping for air, but this was not his usual nightmare. It was not of Lidia, or Benigno, or the jungle nights, asleep fully clothed with his gun by his side. The image imprinted on his mind was of Lola bound and gagged. He sat up and fumbled for the lamp. He tried to take deep breaths to calm himself, but he felt his supper rising in his throat. He ran across the corridor to the bathroom and threw up. Back in his room he sipped water. It was 3 am.



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