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Review: Blind Side by Jennie Ensor

I've been trying to post my review of Jennie Ensor's brilliant Blind Side for a few weeks now but Amazon continues to insist that the last review I posted 'violated their rules'. I have absolutely no idea what I've done wrong and haven't managed to get to the bottom of it yet. But, as the author has been signed by the dynamic Bloodhound Books, I wanted to spread the word about her wonderful writing.

Other books I've read recently haven't inspired me to the same extent and I have a policy that I only review books that I can be positive about. If I didn't enjoy the book, I keep quiet about it - writing is hard, lonely work that's often incredibly demoralising and writers need encouragement, not savaging. Because I pay for all the books I read - I don't receive any free at all - I can pick and choose. I'm under no obligation to review, so if I do it's because I really enjoyed the work and feel it was worth a few hours of my time.

'I started reading Blind Side at totally the wrong time – which was the night I went to bed at 8pm before having to get up at 3.30am to catch a flight from Stansted. Bad idea; I could hardly bear to put the book down and suddenly the holiday didn’t seem half so appealing because all I wanted to do was finish reading! Sadly, that moment had to be postponed… and every time I opened my kindle the next day, I had to shut it again to find the departure gate/board the plane/settle the children/get off the plane etc etc etc. However, when I did finally manage to get some undisturbed reading time, I devoured it greedily right until the very end.

The premise of the story is both simple and incredibly complex. Georgie has a best friend, Julian, and then meets Nikolai, a troubled Russian ex-soldier, veteran of the Chechen conflict. As the plot unfolded, I became more and more drawn to Georgie and desperately wanted it to work out for her … although quite what that would look like for her, I wasn’t sure.

I thoroughly recommend Blind Side as an excellent piece of storytelling that also shines a light on a conflict rarely touched upon in literature. In many ways, it is a book that defies categorisation and for me, this is where the obsession amongst publishers to put fiction into pigeonholes doesn’t work. The description ‘gripping thriller crossed with a love story’ does not, in my opinion, do the novel justice and in a way makes it have to jump through hoops it shouldn’t have to. I would be content to describe it as a great story, beautifully and expertly told. Ensor brilliantly evokes the North London I live in and know so well and I will definitely be looking out for more of her work.'

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