Book Review: Run Thomas Run, by Kate Carty

Available in selected bookstores nationwide.

cv_run_thomas_ruRun Thomas Run is a tale of heartbreak and sorrow, of the shadows of the past stretching forward to eclipse the future. It is a tale of another world, but one that is only too real. A family is living in Iraq, under the reign of Saddam Hussein. The parents are Thomas, and his wife Esther who, like many in Iraq at the time, put on every appearance of supporting Saddam − to the point where their young teenage daughter, Ramina, all but worships him. Their life takes a sudden turn for the worse at a wedding, where a poem and an ill-timed confrontation sets the family on a dark path − a path from which there can be no turning back, only escape.

But even leaving the country and emigrating to the UK, cannot provide true escape, because the shadows will always follow you, having taken seed in the heart. Thomas, his life irrevocably changed within a few long weeks, is a man broken in both body and spirit, and his daughter must suffer the consequences.

Despite the heavy content and the general dark undertones, this is neither a depressing book, nor a difficult read. Certainly, the characters can be frustrating at times but it is engaging, and interspersed with brief moments of light and humour. Ultimately, it opens a door into a life that many of us living in New Zealand cannot comprehend − a life where to speak your thoughts aloud could have fatal consequences, where freedom is a dream. It makes you appreciate the life that they live, and have a greater understanding of the struggles of others.

Reviewed by Angela Oliver

Run Thomas Run
by Kate Carty
Published by Escalator Press
ISBN 9780473295240