This is a book that hooked me in straight away. It is a brilliantly crafted novel that exposes the emotional destruction of war and conflict. It is a novel that is raw and it broke my heart in so many ways. More than anything Pieces of Me is an important read as it really explores the themes of grief, racism and political and cultural isolation in today’s society.
Pieces of Me is the story of Emma who is committed to her job working in war-torn Iraq helping asylum seekers to get out the country when they are in danger. She is suprised more than anyone when she falls in love with Adam, an American soldier.
After marrying, Emma leaves Iraq to be with Adam in Colorado. However she finds it difficult to adjust to her life in the United States where she is viewed as the new British girl in town, nostalgic for her Iraqi life and her need to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Emma’s sense of isolation is heightened when Adam announces that he is being deployed back to Iraq.
With Adam away Emma slowly builds a life for herself in Colorado, including making new friendships with a group of refugee women and mentoring an Iraqi refugee family. Although this gives her a sense of purpose and belonging, Emma is also shocked to discover that it also increases her cultural and political estrangement in the military community that she is now part of.
Pieces of Me is divided into three parts; pre-deployment; deployment; and post-deployment. Many of its chapters are short and succinct, in some cases only a few paragraphs. This just re-enforces the power of the story.
This is a stunning debut novel from Natalie Hart that is so profound and thought-provoking. More than once it shocked me, made me cry and constantly tore at my heartstrings. I really do believe that everyone needs to read Pieces of Me as it vividly exposes the true impact of war; an impact that society doesn’t really want to face.
Thank you once again to Legend Press, especially Lucy Chamberlain for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of Pieces of Me. I am so pleased to have read this book as it has had a real emotional impact on me. I also must thank Natalie Hart for her beautiful and profound debut novel. Please keep writing as you are a literary voice that needs to be heard.
Pieces of Me was published on 4 October, so it is available now for you all to buy. I urge you to do so!
Legend Press has also organised a blog tour so please find out what my fellow book bloggers think of this brilliant read.