Forest Gate by Peter Akinti

Forest Gate

Peter Akinti

Meina’s family situation is desperate – her parents were killed in Somalia and her brother makes a suicide pact with his friend, James: he dies but James lives to return to his drug dealing family. Against this bleakest of backdrops, Meina and James cling to each other and find love. This is a moving, powerful and dark history of our times.

Extract

Those boys. Always standing in the same spot. Sometimes at night I watched them out of my bedroom window. I have been doing my own private psychological study of them and I still can't work out what it is they do on their corner. I call it the poverty effect and they have immersed themselves. They don't sell drugs or fight. They just stand there talking real fast into pretend microphones. Maybe being bums is the best thing for it. Perhaps that is what happens when adults screw each other indiscriminately. At some stage everyone becomes part of each other and then we just all hang out. Get along like a faded Benetton ad or the Jolie-Pitts.

Parallels
  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • True Murder by Yaba Badoe

Books with similar mood

The Cutting Room

Louise Welsh

The Secret Hunters

Ranulph Fiennes

A Good Country

Laleh Khadivi

Ice Cold

Andrea Maria Schenkel

Snakeskin

Courttia Newland

Born under Punches

Martyn Waites

Viral

Helen Fitzgerald

The Neighborhood

Mario Vargas Llosa

Before, During, After

Richard Bausch

Made in Britain

Gavin James Bower

Into Suez

Stevie Davies

The Patience Stone

Atiq Rahimi

Marilyn and Me

Shanta Everington

Transgressions

Sarah Dunant

Out

Natsuo Kirino

Backlash

Rod Duncan

Crimson China

Betsy Tobin

Freedom's Child

Jax Miller

The Undertaking

Audrey Magee

Boxer Handsome

Anna Whitwham

Easy Money

Jens Lapidus

What You Don't Know

David Belbin

An Expensive Education

Nick McDonell

Problems

Jade Sharma

An Empty Room

Talitha Stevenson

Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi

The Dead Won't Sleep

Anna Smith

Trespass

Valerie Martin

Beneath the Darkening Sky

Majok Tulba

All Woman and Springtime

B W Jones

All the Lights

Clemens Meyer

Devil's Peak

Deon Meyer

Say You're One of Them

Uwem Akpan

Strange Blood

Lindsay Ashford

Taming the Beast

Emily Maguire

redRobe

Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Blood Orange

Harriet Tyce

The End of Eddy

Édouard Louis

The Surrendered

Chang-Rae Lee

The Dirty South

Alex Wheatle

The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me

Suzanne Kingsbury

The Craze

Paul Southern

Tart Noir

Duffy/Henderson ed.

Disgrace

J M Coetzee

The Last Queen

C W Gortner

The Poisoning Angel

Jean Teulé

The Colour of Milk

Nell Leyshon

Snow White Turtle Doves

Juliet Bressan

My Enemy's Cradle

Sara Young