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Book Review: ‘The Choke’ by Sofie Laguna

Title: The Choke

Author: Sofie Laguna

Length: 357 pages

Publisher: Gallic Books

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I was absolutely thrilled when Gallic books sent this to me, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

Justine Lee was born breech, entering the world on her knees. She reads words the wrong way round. But she sees things more clearly than the adults around her think. Raised by her Pop since her parents left, Justine helps feed the chooks and makes dens down by the narrow stretch of the Murray River they call the Choke, dodging the violent games of her half-brothers. When Justine hears her dad is coming home at Christmas, she feels a mixture of excitement and dread. He’s a dangerous man, and his presence will close in on Justine’s young life, like the riverbanks at the Choke. She must find a way to flow onwards, breaking the cycle of violence and poverty through friendship, resilience and her own strength.

‘I couldn’t speak or move or do anything except be glad Michael, her son, was there. Thank you for Michael, Mrs Hooper.’

This book is absolutely fantastic. I honestly didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It did take me a little while to get into it but after that I mean, I basically read it in a day, which is something I never do. It was just so difficult to put down.

It’s been a while since a character has captured my heart like Jasmine did. She was the heart and soul of this book. You can’t help but root for her. You have such hope for her, there’s a few times in the book you think she’ll get out of this situation and when she doesn’t it’s absolutely heartbreaking. I think you really see Jasmine find herself throughout the book, find some inner strength.

This book has one of the purest forms of friendship I’ve ever read. It was beautiful and sincere. I just loved reading it. They were so kind to one another. As a reader, you couldn’t help but hope it was Jasmines way out of her situation and when it doesn’t come to fruition, it’s heartbreaking. This friendship honestly made me cry through it’s shear beauty, it’s truly the highlight of this book.

Sofie Laguna manages to create an atmosphere of Justine’s situation, without ever going into horrific details, that it truly makes you question if we can ever become more than our environment? This question encompasses the whole book, and Jasmine’s life. You can see how Jasmine is being mistreated and how terrible things are about to happen to her. It’s a fascinating detail to the book, and it’s so well done.

This actually turned into one of those books that I’m just glad I read. We all have those right? Like I said, Jasmine just captured my heart.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s got fantastic characters, that will steal your heart. It’s got prose so beautiful you won’t be able to put it down. Do yourself a favour and read this book.

Thank you Gallic Books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out October 3rd in the UK and you can get it worldwide now.

Until the next review

JTH

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