Set in the excoriating heat of an endless Perth summer, against the backdrop of asylum seekers locked in detention, Asylum is a gripping tale of loss and belonging that is dark, absurd and hilarious by turns’
I was given the chance to read and review Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn by Net Galley. My initial thoughts were that the cover seemed a little bland, but I always go by the saying, ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’. I did like the thought of reading a very strong character driven book, and this is what the book is.
Book Description and Cover Image
‘Seeking asylum from the wreckage of her life, Yvette Grimm arrives in Australia on a holiday visa. She applies for permanent residency with no hope of success. Resisting advice that she marry to stay in the country, Yvette invests her hopes in a palm-reader’s prophecy that she will meet the father of her children before she’s thirty.
The story starts off with Yvette Grimm finding herself back in her childhood bedroom at her mother’s Leah’s house in Australia. She is on a holiday visa at the moment, but Leah has sent off her permanent residency forms. Yvette had to leave her old life in Malta. As you read through the book, you discover what Yvette’s life was like with her boyfriend Carlos through little snippets, and why she had to leave. I love this little quote. The author uses a fantastic style of writing throughout, to the point and very clear.
‘Yvette was seeking refuge from the wreckage of her life’
Yvette’s mother tells her that she must get married to stay in Australia, but Yvette is a sort of a hopeless romantic and believes that you marry for love not convenience.
The story follows Yvette through her struggles of belonging no-where. Yvette takes you to a cockroach infested flat, to a cute little house to singing in a choir and a life changing event. It was a beautiful journey that the author took me on. Laughing in places, crying the next.
I loved the character of Yvette, she never let anything get her down, she was always expecting the worst, and this made her a much stronger person. I didn’t like her mum Leah, she seemed very cold towards Yvette, and always going on about her sister Debbie, which made Yvette feel alone at times.
I think the main idea of the book is to inform you about the difficulties that people have in gaining residencies. Even though Yvette’s mum and sister live in Australia it doesn’t make her a definite case to live their permanently, just because she stayed with her dad in England when her mother and sister moved back when they were children. I find the topic on political asylum quite fascinating and this book does question that.
I would love to read other books with a similar topic to this one, it was a fascinating read. I would recommend to anyone looking for a strong female character lead.
I gave Asylum by Isobel Blackthorn 4 out of 5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I was given this ebook to review free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book cover image and book description taken from NetGalley.com for purpose of this review.